There are plenty of drone flight simulators out there to help you get comfortable behind the controls before you take to the skies for real. You can even pilot your very own personal racing drone with DRL’s free sim.
But, in the world of aerial cinematography, becoming a more confident pilot doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of your shots improves. There is a separation between the two skills.
The gap between being a competent pilot and producing professional-looking shots that will take your videos to the next level is where Little Arm Studios’ updated Zephyr Drone Simulator comes in.
The developer has partnered with Hollywood cinematographer Skip Fredricks to add new modules to its platform that cover the basics of drone cinematography. The two-time Emmy nominated content producer and certified drone instructor is in a better position than most to add to the simulator’s training curriculum.
“These cinematic filming skills are important not only for filmmakers but are central to many other RPAS disciplines as well,” said Kyle Bishop, CEO of Little Arms Studios. “For any commercial UAV pilot looking to capture footage for tower inspection, agricultural survey or a real estate marketing video, the new Skip Fredricks Edition of Zephyr will ensure competency in all of these core skills.”
Fredricks’ cinematic career spans The Sopranos and blockbuster films like The Fast and the Furious 2. He is currently the Program Director at DroneTV and an FAA certified flight instructor at the Unmanned Vehicle University.
Fredricks’ aim with Little Arms Studios is to give cinematographers the skills needed to incorporate drone footage into their filmmaking repertoire.
“The drone-mounted camera can be an amazing cinematic tool for filmmakers which, obviously, requires some special training,” said Skip Fredricks.
“As I developed the curriculum for a new college-level cinematography program, I began to realize that students needed a simulator that could give them a safe, economical platform on which to build a base of flight experience. Expanding on the flight skills already incorporated into the Zephyr Drone Simulator allows filmmakers to transfer the core photographic techniques like composition, panning, and reveals to the three-dimensional space available with a drone.”
Core capabilities in the Zephyr Drone Simulator Skip Fredericks Edition
The basics of the Zephyr sim already cover the intricacies of flight. The updated Skip Fredricks Edition builds on that platform with modules designed to cover different cinematic skills, including Tracking Shots, Dolly Shots, Tracking Reveals, Dolly Reveals and Flyover Reveals.
How much is the Skip Fredricks Edition of the Zephyr Drone Simulator?
The Skip Fredricks Edition of the Zephyr Drone Simulator can be bundled with the pilot’s choice of transmitter for $159.99.
It’s also available for pilots who’ve already bought the standard edition, as an upgrade for $19.99. You can find out more or get yourself a copy at the Little Arms website.