The advent of modern, affordable unmanned aerial vehicles has led to some pretty inspired drone footage. Most recently, we saw filmmaker Jay Worsley and his short film ETHOS as a prime example of this argument. However, for those less experienced with lenses and equipment, video-editing software and tech-savviness to their name, a vast amount of aerial cinematography is relegated to non-cohesive, uncreative b-roll on smartphones. Thanks to Parrot, however, that will all change for the company’s customers, as the new "Flight Director" mode on the FreeFlight Pro smartphone app will automatically edit captured footage in an aesthetically pleasing way for up to three minutes.
According to Engadget, the new feature is founded on algorithms that study the UAV’s movements during the recording process, and cuts it together cohesively, with a variety of criteria to choose from. For example, if your footage is that of a bicycle race, you might want to choose ‘chronological,’ so that the arc of the race can be presented properly, with the grand finish saved for last. If you’re more of an aspiring filmmaker with a penchant for visceral, energetic movies, choose the "Trailer" option to convey that excitement in the automated editing this mode provides—or ‘Cinematic,’ to make it even more grandiose.
Unfortunately, not everything is free in this world, and the Flight Director feature comes at a price. Users can, of course, try Flight Director for free, but are reportedly restricted to a teasing 15-second ‘Best Of’ mode that doesn’t provide for the full experience. Only the premium version, purchased in-app, will open the figurative door to this new, automatic video editing feature. Automatic editing may seem familiar to the GoPro users out there, but it’s definitely intriguing to see Parrot join the chorus here. Personally, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with both the Mambo FPV and the Bebop 2 Power—making it very likely that I’ll be trying this new feature out for myself soon. Stay tuned.