Filmmakers Want Modular Drones

What cinematographers want drones to be is the theme of one of the conferences at the Unmanned Systems 2015, the largest international conference and trade show for the drone and unmanned technology industry.


The presentation from Alex Rodriguez, Urban Drones CEO, titled “What Film Makers and Videographers Really Want From a Drone and How These Changes can Benefit Other Sectors” brings to the international meeting organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the aspirations of professional filmmakers: drones that are modular, like cameras.

The conference from the developer of the Splash Drone (read our article Splash Drone: a Water Loving Quadcopter), takes place at the Innovation Hub (Exhibit Hall), in the Georgia World Congress Center, in Atlanta, May 05, 2015: 10:15 AM – 5:30 PM.

In the session Alex Rodriguez talks about the fact that “the film/video production industry is one of the earliest benefactors of drone technologies” but the industry has still not asked producers and cinematographers what they really want from a drone. Alex Rodriguez says he has “found that producers are having to change their scripts around the capability of the drone on set. This is because, unlike professional cameras, drones are not modular. Professional film makers want drones to be like cameras, a modular and quickly adaptive tool. Today, when a film maker hires a drone operator, they’re stuck with that specific platform and can hardly change the look and feel on the shot. This is impeding artistic creativity.”

The speaker states that “there’s barely any flexibility to change a lens or a camera on set without having to have several drones. This gets cost prohibitive and is inefficient. We’ve talked to a couple of dozen digital media professors, producers and cinematographers and would like to bring our findings forward to help drone technology developers make better tools for film makers and media professionals. These insights will help manufacturers develop more efficient technologies that will bleed into the agriculture field, land surveyors, wildlife management organizations and many other sectors.”

Alex Rodriguez’s conference is the only one centered on the use of drones by cinematographers, in a series of conferences held during the event. This year, Colin Guinn, chief robotics officer for 3D Robotics, which drone Solo was a star at NAB 2015, is the general session host for the event.


With more than 8,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors from more than 55 countries around the world, Unmanned Systems 2015 is recognized as the leading event for the unmanned systems marketplace. Drones are, naturally, becoming an important part of the event.

The Unmanned Systems 2015 includes three days of interactive exhibits and demonstrations of air and ground vehicles spread throughout 350,000 square feet of exhibit space. The 200-plus educational sessions, workshops, and panel presentations focus on the future of commercial, humanitarian, environmental, governmental, and military applications for robotics and unmanned systems.

Organizer of the event, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. AUVSI’s 7,500 members worldwide come from government organizations, industry and academia.


For more than four decades, AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems conference and trade show has been the premier worldwide event for the unmanned land, sea, and air industries. Unmanned Systems 2015 is a must-attend event for any local, national, or trade news organization interested in gathering valuable insight into the emerging commercial markets and current applications of unmanned technologies. The conference explores the opportunities and innovations of this projected $48 billion industry, and how it will soon impact the lives of people at home and across the globe.

Follow the link to know more about the Unmanned Systems 2015 conference and trade show.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…