DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter on an H3-3D gimbal

Some clips from Ocean Grove and Asbury Park in NJ.

I fried my FPV transmitter so all of this was done with line of sight. You don’t realize how much you rely on that for framing and getting your bearings when you “lose” the bird.

Edited in FCPX using HySky plugin.

Music by: Maxence Cyrin – Where Is My Mind (“The Pixies” piano cover)


Thanks for all the nice comments on the various websites and Facebook walls this has been posted on. I’m flattered that it’s gotten as much love as it has. It was fun, putting it together.

I wasn’t expecting more than a few friends, family and maybe a small handful of others in the ‘flying camera’ community to see it. A few days ago it got shared out and then re-shared. Now it’s close to 20,000 plays. I’ve been getting a lot of questions so I thought I’d answer some of the popular ones.

“What are you talking about? What is ‘FPV’?”
‘First Person View’. There’s a small monitor that allows me to “see” what the camera sees as I fly. It helps for framing shots and making sure your subjects are where you want them to be, on screen. Howerver, the first morning I went out with my setup, I made a technical error and broke that part. So, flying for these shots were done by guessing if things were in frame.

“Why did you shoot this?”
I needed footage to play with because I’m teaching myself to use ‘Final Cut Pro’, the software used to edit this piece. I’m still barely scratching the surface with this stuff! So many bells and whistles.

My wife’s aunt and uncle have a house in Ocean Grove and are kind enough to let us stay there when it’s not being used. We were there for the weekend, so I figured it might make a nice video. Sharing it with Aunt Sue and Uncle Craig was a sort of ‘thank you’ for letting us use their house and hang out in these two really cool towns. We love it here.

“What did you use to shoot this?”
The camera is a GoPro Hero 3 Silver. It’s mounted to a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter on an H3-3D gimbal (the gimbal helps smooth out the turbulence from flying). Edited in Final Cut Pro X. You can google all that stuff and see what it is.

“How long did it take?”
I shot this in four, 15-minute flights. Two mornings, one afternoon and one late afternoon. It took about 5 hours to pull the shots, pick music and put everything together.

“The bike! Awesome shot!”
Thanks! Total luck. I saw her coming across the bridge as I was flying up the water. I just tried to hold the bird steady and said to myself, “oh man, I hope she’s in frame”. If anyone knows who that is, please show her this video. She’s the star! 😀

I recieved a lot of great comments, feedback and critique. I had no idea that it would get as many clicks as it has, otherwise I would’ve done some things differently (like hid the shadow and shot with a higher frame rate for the slow motion shots). This was all just for practice and fun.


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