4 Tips for developing effective digital learning experiences
July 25, 2018
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Can’t afford a helicopter?

Deck of a bulk freighter from a drone

Callum Scott - Learning Consultant

I have no idea how much it costs to hire a helicopter but I’m guessing it costs a fortune. However, with the arrival of the drone, anyone can get those spectacular aerial video shots for considerably less money.

We’ve used a drone quite a few times now and each time, the results have added so much value to the film shoot, particularly at large scale industrial sites. Footage from the ground rarely captures the huge expanse of, let’s say, a mine site or a large distribution centre. A drone is perfect for capturing this expanse and is particularly helpful when used in site induction modules, enabling the learner to gain an insight into the sheer magnitude of the site they’re about to start working at.


A few years ago, we used a drone at a coal export terminal on the coast of Queensland, where there’s a four-kilometre-long jetty. The results were cinematic, a beautiful shot that fully conveyed the reality of the site. The drone flew up the length of the jetty, capturing footage of the huge bulk freighters moored nearby, the local bird wildlife, the activity below, finally coming to the end of the jetty where the operator swung the drone around to capture the vastness of the site from the farthest tip of the jetty.

Another great use of the drone, which I’m sure you’ve seen on TV, is the drone interview, where the drone flies five or six feet above the ground, in front of the interviewee, and slowly moves backwards and higher into the air, again providing the viewer with a wider shot of the site. This is a technique used extensively in lifestyle programs and travel shows, so it’s familiar to your audience, therefore satisfying their contemporary viewing expectations.

Finally, drones taking high-resolution photographs are also being used to capture locations from multiple vantage points, called photogrammetry, where the imagery is fed into specialised programs that map the physical objects and the distances between, to provide accurate three-dimensional (3D) maps. The resulting assets can be used in all manner of applications such as virtual reality or simpler 2D applications. Who says a site induction needs to be conducted on-site?!

If you want to take your video shoot to the next level, using a drone is the way forward and it’s not too pricey. In fact, I’d say it’s affordable even for tighter budgets, depending on the size and type of drone you’d like to use.

Here at BSI, we’re able to help you work out the type of drone package that will best suit your business and, believe me, the results are spectacular, and a lot cheaper than hiring a helicopter.