Drama Drones: An Investigation Into Integrating Drones Into Real World Filmmaking in New Zealand

Cleveland, Peter
Charlton, James
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Master of Creative Technologies
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Auckland University of Technology

The use of drone technology is a topical issue for contemporary filmmaking. The fast paced innovation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones has opened up a new realm of camera movement available to all levels of filmmakers, including the novice. This expedient growth fuelled by amateur open source development has outstripped the ability of many governments to legislate. The film industry itself has been equally slow in reacting to these new possibilities. This has resulted in advancing technologies being underutilised and has limited uptake of drone technology within dramatic film production.

This research engages with these issues and explores the use of drones as a motion controlled cinematographic tool, specifically as it relates to the practice of filmmaking in New Zealand at both a novice and a professional level. A practice based methodology serves as a platform to demonstrate how to utilise advancing technologies in an original way that is consistent with the current mode of filmmaking. The outcome is evidenced by an innovative blend of open source ground control software, autopilot firmware, DIY1 crafted drone and early adoption of Real Time Kinematic GPS2 hardware.

Can an innovative approach to the use of emerging creative technologies influence the way in which they are integrated into the New Zealand on-set filmmaking idiom by using drone technology to develop a proof of concept system for predictable and repeatable camera path?

New Zealand , Film , Drone , UAV , RPAS , Motion Capture , Motion Control , Spatial Temporal
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