Check out this FPV Drone Video that shows the set of The View studio right before the show starts.
No operation was too big for the Emmy Award-winning talk show’s Season 25 celebration, so why not try something that has never been done before?
That is precisely what the crew of “The View” and Xizmo Media from New York accomplished when they developed a continuous drone shot that lasted for three minutes to take a look behind the scenes of the most popular daytime talk program in the United States.
After the idea was first developed, Senior Producer Rick Segall, a core team from “The View,” and Xizmo spent months preparing the concept and refining the FPV drone flight.
Over one hundred members of the “The View” personnel and one hundred and ten members of the studio audience participated in the filming. Throughout its flight, the FPV or cinewhoop drone navigated over, under, and through several obstacles, covering more than 15 different areas over three levels in the building.
Challenging FPV drone shot
“We’re used to doing ambitious projects at ‘The View,’ but there was a definite feeling in the air that this was completely nuts and could not be done in one pass,” Segall said. “There are bragging rights to pulling off a drone shoot of this scope in one pass. I was confident we could do it.”
According to Executive Producer Brian Teta, Segall presented the major concept to him more than a year ago when they were first together.
“In addition to being fascinated by the technical wizardry involved, I was really excited about a new way to show the audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this incredible team and all of the complex moving parts that put the show on the air every morning,” Teta said.
Let’s fast forward to the day of the rehearsal in May of 2022: Most of the day was spent with the cast and crew practicing their cues with the assistance of stage managers and the Xizmo flight team.
Losing connection with the FPV drone
During the drone’s first few runs, there were some bumps in the road, and the pilot sometimes lost radio contact with the drone. Rubber bumpers were installed to protect the machine and the people around it.
The FPV drone pilot eventually came up with the brilliant idea of sitting in a moving office chair and having someone push him through hallways and corridors to stay in touch with the drone as it flew between levels that were separated by as many as seven concrete walls.
After more than three hours of practice, the three-minute drone shot was ready to go, and most of the problems that had been there when the day started had been solved. The next day was when the real filming would happen, so that’s when everything would be put to the test.
Segall asked for two and a half hours for the shoot, but due to limited time, the ambitious project could only be filmed for one hour. Segall and the Xizmo crew started to have second thoughts about recording the flight path in a single pass. They started to think about splitting the shot into two parts, which was something they had been trying very hard not to do from the start.
Eddie Kostakis, who runs the aerial operations at Xizmo, said that the drone shot was very challenging.
“I’ll be honest, from the first day we walked in, I already started thinking how we needed to cut back and manage expectations,” Kostakis said. “I slept on that idea after the rehearsal. And the next day I decided, ‘Let’s go for the entire thing.’”
“I enjoy a good challenge under pressure and I was determined to make it work,” he continued. “It was the most complicated and challenging shoot we’ve ever had to do.”
After starting, the shoot was over in 35 minutes and three takes. However, they had more work to do. The FPV drone’s powerful motors made it impossible for the GoPro 10 camera to record the sound. Brian Davis, who was in charge of editing “The View,” carefully recorded every phrase and sound effect from the flight path so that he could put them all together in the final product.
As a consequence of the production, one of the longest and most technically complex continuous drone shootings has ever been produced. Teta has said he is “in awe” of the work and is “very proud” of it.
“We’re incredibly proud of the final project,” Segall said. “It was a remarkable team effort and the perfect ending to our 25th anniversary season.”
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