“DJI HAS CREATED A DRONE THAT IS A CINEMATIC TOOL THAT FREES FILMMAKING THAT HAS BEEN TRADITIONALLY TETHERED TO THE GOUND” – Ryan Phillips
When DJI announced their Inspire 2 Drone with the X5s interchangeable lens system that shoots 5.2k RAW and Prores 444XQ and 422HQ it changed the game for cinematographers around the world. And while the drone has a substantially lower cost point than Arri’s or Red’s and the Freefly Alta drones that fly them, the quality if the imagery is stunning and Cinema 5D’s Sebastian Wöber goes so far as to say that it “Rivals the image quality of the Arri Alexa”. WOW!
In the short film “The Circle” Directed by Sheldon Schwartz, the drone was used to film 100% of the movie. The film can be seen in it’s entirety below at the bottom of this article.
Sheldon says of the Inspire 2 Drone
“…it is unique and a new technology that pushes the limits of camera language and storytelling”
There are many shots in the film that that demonstrate the uniqueness of using the drone as a cinematic tool, but one in particular gets a lot of attention. In one of the outdoor scenes the drone flies through the air over a street descending to a height where one of the camera ops grabs it and uses the drone into a gimbal to finish the scene.
Sheldon says of the shot
“the operator caught the drone out of the air and smoothly transitioned the same shot to a normal handheld platform in a seamlessly orchestrated shot”
Sheldon concludes the Inspire 2 is “an inspirational set friendly professional cinematic tool”
Claudio Miranda, the DP of “The Circle” who also was the cinematographer for “The Life of Pi”, “Tron Legacy” and “The Curious Life of Benjamin Button” had to figure out how to use the drone throughout the movie indoors and outdoors. He put the drone on dollies, suspended the drone on a pulley system over a bed.
Claudio said “Using the drone made many shots ez to shoot that using regular equipment would have been much more complicated and difficult”
Ryan Phillips one of the lead actors found he drone to be innovative and inventive whether shooting inside and outdoors.
After seeing the final footage he believes the dynamic range on the camera has not been seen before. He also mentions that
“If you don’t have a $40 million dollar budget you are so limited as to what you can do, and DJI reverses that trend and flips filmmaking on its head… The inspire 2 produces really incredible visual pictures”
To see the Inspire 2 in action is truly amazing. Here are some addition stills of the drone in action on the set of “The Circle”
Watch the film “The Circle” in its entirety below