Two years ago, New York-based director and photographer Randy Scott Slavin purchased a Phantom Drone from DJI for $1,000. After obsessively honing his drone-flying skills, he started using it to shoot mind-blowing aerial footage of the city. The resulting two-minute video will make you jealous of pigeons and their stunning views of the Big Apple. “This drone is really small and can fit in places you couldn’t fit a real helicopter. It gives you a very rare point of view that’s been inaccessible to filmmakers and cinematographers until now,” Slavin tells Co.Design.
The Phantom can fly up to a mile away from the flier, and while First Person Viewer technology is available, which allows the flier to see what the drone is shooting on a screen or through goggles, Slavin does what’s called “flying blind,” and waits until the drone has returned to him to see the footage that’s been captured. Despite all the hype surrounding drones (rumors that Amazon will be unleashing a drone delivery service among them), “drones are not what they seem to people who haven’t played around with them,” Slavin says. “They’re just remote controlled quadcopters.”
Slavin says he’s been approached by cops while launching his drone in public places–a process not unlike launching a toy helicopter–but “they mostly just said, ‘that’s awesome.'”