Feature: How Drones are Used to Film Horror Movies

Drones have often been used for amateur filming to make action videos, but have recently been used for longer and more sophisticated video projects. For example, it’s easy to see that even Hollywood is using drones as detailed on dronethusiast.com where they show some of the drones big budget pictures are using. Both indie and big budget horror films have started adapting the use of drones in their filming. Drones present interesting opportunities for filmmakers as they can easily transition from close up shots to large wide takes. There’s more than just that though, here’s a couple ways drones are popping up in the filming of horror movies.

How Drones are Used for Establishing Shots

Drones have long been used for big establishing shots, and horror is no exception. Drones are great for getting big sweeping shots over a dark forest or tracking shots from an aerial view. Their ease of use means a director can get multiple types of these shots quickly.

Due to the relative affordability of drones, this makes them perfect for amateur director. Lots of indie filmmakers make great use of drones for these types of big shots. With the improvements in camera quality on drones too, it makes these shots even more viable for indie filmmakers and big budget pictures alike.

Drone Use in the Movie Itself

We’re also seeing drones used in the movie itself to add a bit more realism to the story. Think about if you’re going out in the field with high tech equipment; odds are you might have a drone on you. It’s a likely scenario, and thankfully writers are taking note and incorporating them into the story.

For example, in the 2016 film “Blair Witch” the crew heads out into the woods with a drone. Not only does it play a big part of the movie, but it also adds some actual film to the movie as we see through the drone camera.

Drones add a lot of potential to the found footage genre, and are heavily used in a lot of the more modern takes on the genre. Seeing a movie unfold through the eyes of the drone is an interesting proposition and could lead to some unique views.

Drones for Actions Shots

Drones are currently used a lot in action movies for action type shots, but are definitely making their way to horror too. The newer James Bond movies made use of drones to film some of the action sequences, so it’s not a huge leap to see the uses in the horror genre.

Think for example a chase scene where the big bad guy is chasing the hero through the woods. Having a drone film these types of scenes is already being done. It can also be used for shots that pan out to show an upcoming danger and help to build suspense. The great thing about drones here is their ability to easily film small, specific things and also large, wide shots. This gives them a wide range, and could add some interesting elements to an otherwise standard scene.

Drone as a Villain in the Movie

There’s also a movie release earlier this year called “The Drone”. The Drone is a horror movie, where the main antagonist is a killer drone. While this particular movie isn’t all that serious, it does bring up some interesting ideas. A movie shot from the perspective of the killer using drone technology. Or, even a situation where a drone is the eyes and ears of the villain. Maybe even a Skynet situation where an AI uses drones to scout out its enemies?

Drones in Horror Movies

It’s exciting to watch the adoption of drones in horror movies, and to see the potential uses they have to create a better viewer experience. It will certainly be interesting to see what creative uses directors come up with in the future!