It started with a question: “Can we bring our quadcopter to the Orlando Sentinel?”
Ummm….of course. But, what’s a quadcopter?
Much like a remote-controlled helicopter, a quadcopter is a flying machine with four rotors controlled by someone on the ground. And this one has a GoPro Hero 3 on a gimbal.
Fiction, which started more than five years ago by former wakeboarders, uses the device – a DJI Phantom – to shoot soaring aerial video. One of their most recent productions had the quadcopter flying in Hawaii, the Isle of Man and Winter Park.
Once we saw that video, we had to get them to the Sentinel building in downtown Orlando.
Earlier this week, York and Fiction co-workers Chase Heavener and Nick Sambrato showed off the quadcopter on the roof of the Orlando Sentinel.
With several members of the Sentinel photography staff looking on, Heavener – an experienced flier – fired up the copter and weaved it around trees, poles and our building. He sent the copter hundreds of feet into the air and buzzed the crowd watching below.
You can see the results in the video above.
A few facts about the quadcopter:
- The battery lasts roughly 8 minutes.
- A new copter costs roughly $500 to $700.
- Learning to fly it takes less than an hour, according to Heavener. Mastering it can take years.
- The copter is quite durable and crashing it doesn’t destory it.
As an observer of the shoot, I can say that the quadcopter can get those impossible shots from that only a videographer in a helicopter could get – all for a fraction of the cost.
“You can extend your reach,” Heaven said. “You can get some really crazy stuff.”