Published under: Video, CXO, Aerial Video, Microcopters


I was watching the PR stunt created for the movie Chronicle, where three RC aircraft made to look like people where flown next to the Manhatten skyline on a busy winter day. Thousands of curious onlookers viewed the action as it unfolded, and a resulting video has been viewed over 8,500,000 times on YouTube, certainly creating a powerful awareness for the film (the genius of viral marketing firm, Thinkmodo).

Microcopter technology was used to help film this event, and as I marveled over the effectiveness of the stunt I began to ponder the potential efficacy of RC controlled devices in our own video arsenal. As a full-service digital marketing agency, corporate video production is a aerial-videographycrucial part of our overall client success strategy. The engagement factor of video enables us to deliver the customer experience optimization required to make website visitors stick (rather than bounce), run successful conversion marketing campaigns and make search engines sing our praises (for the CXO we deliver). How could aerial videography enhance that?

The dramatic increase of shot options that become possible with microcopter technology is remarkable. Aircraft and helicopters have been shooting aerial video for decades, but the most obvious problem with that strategy is the prohibitive expensive. Microcopters bridge the gap between a jib and a full sized helicopter, enabling the shot in a fast, clean and affordable way. They can fly up to 50 mph and stay in RC range for 1000 feet in any direction. They can even be used in-doors to capture a shot from above. They typically requiring two operators, one piloting the aircraft (RC pilot) and one operating the camera-gimbal while remotely monitoring the shots (RC videographer).

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
Marc Riboud

I collected a variety of video as part of a feasibility study and will share it with you here. These videos show the technology in action and a sampling of the types of shots that it makes possible. These microcopter systems range in price from $10K to $20K for a commercial grade solution down to as low as $300 for Parrot AR. Drone that can be operated from an iPhone, and purchased from