A couple of weeks back, I attended the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world’s most important venue for independent filmmaking. I wanted to meet the people who make those movies to better understand their expectations about Hexo+ and integrate that into our grand scheme.
One of the promises we have to our users is to give you the possibility to create footage you could only see on the big screen up to now, so it was a no brainer that we should immerse ourselves into the filmmaking community beyond our own experience in action sports. All those amazing shots that are usually made with cranes, steady cams or helicopters are widely recognized as beautiful, but they remain accessible to a lucky few only. Our mission is to make it possible for you to create similar footage with one single one tool, our user-friendly drone. But as much as we have our own idea of how to do this, we also wanted professional filmmakers to have their say on Hexo+. And sure enough, we made the right decision by going to Utah during this particular weekend.
The Sundance Film Festival takes place in the heart of Park City and essentially showcases the world’s very best independent movies, shorts and documentaries. I think it’s fair to say it’s a very inspiring and creative moment, so we worked to make the most out of it: we were given the opportunity to organize interviews with 25 of the best filmmakers, directors of photography, actors, producers, costume designers and of course movie fans, a treasure of input for our product development. In a nutshell, here is what we learned.
Everyone was unanimous that Hexo+ is a game-changer. The user interface, which enables anyone to easily understand the creative possibilities at hand, and the stability and novelty of the few camera movements we’ve developed so far were really well received. We were told Hexo+ could take aspiring filmmakers to new heights. Small budgets are frequently involved, yet quality shots are a must. How much better can it get than a completely autonomous flying camera, with no extra crew or piloting skills needed?
According to our interviewees, Hexo+ would obviously be most useful for a Director of Photography, but also for many others could benefit from the tool as well. A director who wants to see a draft of what his aerial shot would look like for instance: this ‘setting survey’ does not require all the classical big equipment and preparation, but just a quick flight with Hexo+. Or an actor practicing his delivery for a monologue or even for an audition: with his own drone, one would now be able to record and rehearse the scenes, make changes, and improve on the footage being made, all on his own.
In terms of camera movements, the ones we showcased (Hover, Follow, Dolly, Fly Away and 360°Selfie) already surpassed their expectations. Most independent filmmakers struggle with the investments needed to make these angles happen. This being said, here are a few constructive remarks we want to take into account:
We are most definitely going to discuss and take this feedback into account, it’s awesome stuff for us, especially when our mantra is to co-develop the product with you guys, and we believe nothing is more important than great conversations with consumers and experts.
So in case you have some input of your own regading the use of Hexo+ in a filmmaking context, comment below!
Thanks for reading!