My work takes me all over the country so it’s important that my gear can come with me. Minimalism has definitely crept into my professional work. That’s why, for the longest time, I resisted getting a drone. I watched as fellow filmmakers launched their drones into the air, capturing amazing footage. But they were always too bulky to travel with. That is until the incredibly compact DJI Mavic Pro came out. It seemed like the perfect drone for me to take on the road.

I spent three weeks in Australia this winter and had a chance to put it to the test. My first flight was equal parts exciting & terrifying. I felt like I was sixteen again, driving a car for the first time, slightly worried I might press the wrong button and send it crashing into the ocean. Watch some of my first flights along the coast of Sydney.

Should you get a drone?

  1. You certainly don’t need it. If you're just getting started out I'd suggest waiting until you build up your reel. I’ve gone my whole career without one so there’s no need to rush it. That said...
  2. It’s an amazing tool. Finding a great establishing shot for a documentary can often be a challenge. Especially if it’s sunrise or sunset when the clock is ticking. A drone is the absolute easiest way to create a stunning establishing shot for your films.
  3. The Mavic is lightweight and portable. An absolute must for me. If you travel a lot and want a drone for the road, there simply isn't a better option at the moment.
  4. It's a lot of fun. You can see how giddy I am in the video. To get this perspective a few years ago you would have been impossible for an independent filmmaker.

Just don't be an asshole. We spent one day at Bondi beach while in Sydney and someone hovered a drone over us for over thirty minutes. They're pretty loud and a bit intrusive. So respect people's privacy. If you're filming in a public place, get the shot you need, and move along.