My Favorite Drone Videos

Over the past year, I have found myself watching a ton of drone videos on YouTube and Vimeo. Here’s a few of my favorites.
This video absolutely blew me away. I’m not sure I would ever do this, but flying a drone in the middle of a fireworks display produced some incredible results.

Another perspective you would never get unless you were sitting in an actual helicopter. This video of a volcano erupting has over 1-million views on YouTube.

I love surfing videos and I love drones. This was a slam dunk.

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

Los Angeles landmarks at night provide a spectacular backdrop for this video.

Bird’s-eye view of whales in the ocean. There’s a number of videos that feature drones following whales, but this is my personal favorite.

Drone Whale Watching Hawaii from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation

Our latest project highlights the incredible work being done by the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. They are a non-profit organization committed to helping families as they deal with pediatric health care issues.

We shot the interviews and the b-roll at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital over the course of a day. The interview with the doctor was filmed in a break room which presented a number of issues. The main one being a very loud ice machine that would turn on intermittently.

We were able to complete the video within the tight, two-week deadline mandated by the organization, and they were able to feature the video at their annual Gala.


Best Part of the Job

The thing I love the most about video production is the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things on each and every project. Last month, we had the privilege of working on a video for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Each year the foundation selects a person with Down Syndrome to represent them at their Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show. This year their ambassador was Steven Dulcie.

We flew down to Glen Rose, Texas to meet and spend time with the Dulcie family. We interviewed Steven’s parents Jeff and Deedra, along with his three brothers – David, Matthew and Gray. What a great family!

We also had the opportunity to interview some of the top scientists studying Down Syndrome, and specifically, the link between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s inspiring and encouraging to see the work they are putting it in day-by-day to learn more about these conditions.

Watch the video below.



Marketing Meets Motion Graphics

Utilizing motion graphics is a great way to market your business. Telling your story or walking a potential client through a step-by-step process without shooting a frame of video is proving to be a fun, effective avenue for companies who are looking to do something different.

We recently produced this video for a Colorado startup called Green Piranhas. We don’t need to explain much because the video says it all.



The Lost Art of Storytelling

The longer I work in video production, the easier things get. Efficiencies in technology allow you to produce videos only high-end production houses could of put together 10 years ago. Just look at render time, effects or even the cost of operating a production company, and you can see how technology has shattered the barriers to producing high-quality videos.

But “easier” does not always mean better.

Despite these advantages, you still must be able to tell a story. At times, it’s the forgotten piece of the video production process, and it is why so many people struggle as they enter the business. Keep in mind, when I discuss storytelling I’m talking about creatively crafting a story using all of the advantages video provides – not just putting words on the page.

It’s deciding the style of the video and how it is going to be shot. Both important decisions that will help advance your story when done right. It’s always asking “what is the story I’m telling” and “how can I use the tools at my disposal to tell it?”

The storyline is the heartbeat of any project. From corporate videos, 30-second advertisements or feature length films – it must be carefully considered long before you begin the production process. It’s just as important as cinematography, editing or the post-production process.

GoPro Hero 3 Time Lapse

Blog Entry 4.3 [ print | web | video | illustration ]

Cameras are making it easier to produce compelling time lapse photography. We use the GoPro Hero 3 to generate our time lapse shots, and we have been blown away at the quality and ease of use the GoPro provides.

First, you need to get the settings right. For the time lapse example above, we set the camera to shoot a still frame every 30 seconds. The Hero 3 makes it easy to set your interval and gives you a number of options in the menu settings. You also want to make sure to set the size of your images. We set ours at 7 megapixels. You can go bigger, but it takes more space on your card and most of the time is not necessary. Set the camera to record and let it go (extended battery pack recommended otherwise the battery life will be limited).

Once you are satisfied that you have enough footage, take the GoPro and import your shots. Since we use Final Cut X, we created an event and imported all of the photos off the card. At this point, you can take out any of the shots you don’t want included in the time lapse. We ended up using over 220 images for this particular time lapse. Then, “select all” of the images in the event and drag them to the timeline. Final Cut automatically places them in the order they are shot. Next, you need to create a compound clip. This creates one giant clip with which to work. Re-time the clip, and you are done (we sped up this footage over 12,000%).

You end up with a great looking shot that can provide unique, visual interest for the story you are telling.