The Youtube star Casey Neistat has always made his love for drone technology well known. Ever since DJI Phantom 3 was released, Casey fell in love with the DJI brand and other top drones under $300. Popular for his daily vlogs, Casey constantly uses drones to take amazing aerial shots of the city. He might even be the most popular drone enthusiast on the internet, alongside Will Smith, the actor who recently became a youtuber also.
As a drone enthusiast, Casey Neistat is always ready to experiment with new kinds of machinery. That’s why he teamed up with Droneworks Studios for a second time. This time they surfed the Hudson River! The drone used was an octocopter (8 motors and arms) capable of carrying 11kg (25 pounds) while hovering and around 22kg (50 pounds) in full throttle. The goal was to have Casey Neistat being pulled by a boat to create some momentum, and then have the drone to the rest. The shot was having the drone pull Casey through the Hudson River on a surf board.
Note: Last time (in 2016) Casey dressed as Santa and flew by holding a drone.
Is this possible? Absolutely! Thanks to the help of Droneworks Studios, a Houston based company that operates large drones capable of lifting cinema cameras. They have filmed all around the world, making the UAV technology a service for anyone to hire. As the industry grows and drones become more capable (more lifting power, flight time, and maneuverability), they also become more useful in the photography and videography world.
Although the octocopter isn’t able to pull an adult without needing some momentum. That isn’t quite an issue to the main goal of this powerful drones. You see, companies like Droneworks Studios are in high demand for other reasons then carrying people across the Hudson River. This was just a successful publicity stunt. These companies are hired by ad agencies, movie producers, outdoor event organizadores, to capture those beatiful aerial shots we all love. From video clips, to car chasing scenes, drones have become the go-to tool to record these types of scenes.
Of course, these UAVs are not for the average consumer. Therefore, we and Casey have to stick to our Mavic Pro and Spark, to capture our own aerial videos and photos. Maybe in the future a quadcopter will be enough to carry a cinema camera. But for now, we will leave these wild stunts to Casey and Droneworks. Hope they innovate a bit more in their next partnership, maybe a little less focus on “large weight lifting drones” and more on how drones can be used to create art.
Did You Prefer the Flying or the Surfing Stunt?
In my opinion, the flying Santa stunt was much more interesting, as it showed how this UAV could lift an adult and fly it around (back in 2016). The surfing stunt, although pleasing to watch in the vlog, it’s not the most interesting follow-up to the first. Mainly, because the team couldn’t capture any breathtaking photo or video. Interesting? Yes. Mind blowing? No. They could have used the opportunity to do so much more than they did.