The team at FxFactory caught up with Noel from Majestic Flights, and talked to him about what goes into creating their spectacular drone footage and how the Final Cut Pro plugin EPICOLOR was used to achieve the stunning natural colors in their videos.
What was the goal of the project?
The goal of the project was to offer the world a spectacular aerial view of Bermuda. I enjoy visiting unique landscapes and capturing their beauty from the sky. I consider myself fortunate because I can travel and experience these beautiful locations from above. I had researched Bermuda videos online and couldn’t find anything great in 4K, so I set out to do just that. My plan was to create a movie that would show people how amazing and unique the Bermuda water color is along its unique rocky landscape and sand beaches.
How much time did you have? What tools / Workflow did you use?
In terms of time I only had 4 days on the island. 2.5 of the 4 days the conditions were not ideal, with high winds and rain. I made the best of the available time to get some good shots.
The equipment I used was a DJI Phantom 4 PRO. It has a 20MP camera sensor capable of recording 4K at 60FPS. I also had a special remote control with a bright screen for viewing my subject in very bright sunlight. Finally, I was using a Avegant – Video Headset which helped in bright sunlight. In terms of lenses I used a 3 and 4 stop neutral density (ND filters) to slow down shutter speed to attain smooth cinematic footage, and also a circular polarizer to reduce glare.
I edited the footage in Final Cut Pro X where I used the EPICOLOR color correction plugin from Lemke software.
Previously I had done my own basic color correcting in FCP X, but I wanted something automatic that would do basic color correction and make the colors pop. What intrigued me about EPICOLOR was that its algorithm is based on the human visual system and how it perceives and interprets color information. I’ve seen many LUT’s out there, but the reality is that many of them feel artificial and can be too intense. I wanted something realistic! EPICOLOR was the answer as its “natural” adjustments would allow my viewers to see Bermuda as if they were there with their own eyes.
I was very impressed with the results EPICOLOR produced on this project.
Please tell us a little more about yourself.
I have been doing aerial cinematography for 4 years now. As a child I always dreamed of becoming a pilot and wanted to join the Air Force Academy. Unfortunately my poor vision held me back. With the advent of drones I’ve been able to achieve my dream of flying and seeing the world from a new perspective. One of my biggest concerns is the future of our environment. After visiting Asia and Iceland last year and seeing the widespread impact of pollution and global warming I hope that my videos will raise awareness and appreciation for our beautiful world and help preserve the beauty of our Earth.