Compose and execute shots in a number of challenging real-world environments.

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Drones are arguably the single most important technological development for film and television in the last 25 years. Today nearly every feature film, television show or commercial production is using drone-mounted cameras. No other creative pursuit is as complex and rewarding. Drone artists today need to master the delicate balance of unmanned aerial flight (aviation), photography and rapidly evolving government regulations.

Course instructor Brian J. Kelly is an industry leader and pioneer in the creative use of drones for film and television.  Having worked on feature films, hundreds of hours of reality and episodic television and commercial advertising, Brian will prepare students on what to expect when operating drones in “on-set” creative environments.

Within this art form there is broad “gray area” of permissibility vs. capability.  Today’s drone cinematographers need to balance the desire to “get the shot” against a complex array of production resources, opportunities, rules, regulations and crew safety protocols.  

Logistic Challenges Covered

  • FAA Certificates of Authorization, Insurance, Permits and Public Safety
  • Selecting the right equipment for the mission?
  • Designing your mission (Pre-flight) & inside the script
  • Working around and with the public

Creative Challenges Covered

  • Working with Directors, fulfilling the vision
  • Working with talent — droning with people
  • Story-telling and perspective, b-roll v scripted scenes
  • Vehicle/Action tracking
  • Advanced flight maneuvering – designing and filming action sequences
  • Working over water
  • Structure and landscape filming
  • Maximizing creativity using Intelligent flight modes

This course is an immersive study into drone photography and cinematography as a modern art form and multi-directional career opportunity.  We will cover the balance of multi-rotor drone flight, remote camera operation, as well as the complex nature of composing and executing shots in a number of challenging real-world creative scenarios.

Image Credits:  Kara Birnbaum

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Instructor: Brian J. Kelly

Brian J. Kelly is a veteran of nearly thirty years of the development and production of innovative television content. Mr. Kelly is an award winning producer, director and writer of hundreds of commercials, documentary films and non-fiction television shows for networks such as NBC, Discovery Channel, TLC, Military Channel, Science Channel, Animal Planet, The Military Channel, Discovery Times Channel, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Planet Green, HD Theatre, Travel Channel, History Channel, A&E, National Geographic Channel, HGTV, HDNET, REELZ and PBS. A businessman, spokesperson, historian and strategic communications consultant -- Brian has worked with television networks, government organizations, the US Military, national trade associations and Fortune 500 corporations in harnessing the power of television messaging and programming.