Small camera drones on Kickstarter and Indiegogo – how many of those have we seen already? Remember the Lily Camera drone that we reported about? It doesn’t seem to be shipping yet, and there seem to be some problems with it with another “fake” campaign claiming to sell their drone too, and according to this report they are under review by the “Indiegogo Trust and Safety Team”. Not very reassuring, to say the least. So, we have honestly become more cautious with crowd funding campaigns in general and drone crowd funding campaigns specifically – there are just a lot of things that seem to go wrong, and a lot of products that never see the light of day, even after being successfully funded. Now, the drone market is huge – if you look at this article, it becomes apparent why so many companies try their luck. And I am not only talking about camera drones. It’s growing fast, and so is the need for regulation. This article here gives a good overview of industry trends in the drone field (PDF link). But let’s look at the drone crowd funding campaign du jour – the UP&Go Arial Camera on Indiegogo. It’s already overfunded by now with over three weeks left, which is another good indication about how much hype still surrounds the drone business. What’s so special about it? It’s quite cheap with a starting price of $299, and it’s really supposed to be for amateurs who want to film their outdoor adventures by having a drone follow them automatically. It records only 1080p at (up to?) 60fps and 720p at 120fps, and takes 12MP stills. The demo footage looks okay but I expect this to essentially look like an older generation GoPro. Speaking of which, they officially call this an “Aerial GoPro” and even copy the style of GoPro’s logotype, which is daring to say the least, because I am sure that there is no real association with GoPro. Seriously? The logo looks like a GoPro rip-off … So, if you are thinking about pre-ordering the UP&GO camera drone on Indiegogo, be careful – you might get a very cheap drone for more “fun stuff”, but there is always the danger that a crowd funding campaign like this won’t materialise. Also, as far as I can tell from the campaign page, the drone is not aware of its environments with sensors (unlike, for instance, the DJI Phantom 4), which means that it will crash into trees when it follows you if you’re not careful. Let’s hope that’s something they will add before they ship the product.Read more
Our friends from the Apertus Axiom Open Source Camera have reached their crowd funding goal of €100,000 three days before the Indiegogo campaign is over – an impressive achievement.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Here’s episode 11 of ON THE COUCH, and it’s one of my all-time favorite episodes, in which I was happy to talk to Lan and Vu Bui, the “cinematography brothers” who recently finished shooting a feature film called “20 Feet Below – The Darkness Descending”, as well as director Jan Woletz and producer / VFX man Christof Dertschei, the people behind the upcoming web series “Wienerland”, which we already reported about in detail in this recent post. That’s one lively 50 minute discussion and it shouldn’t be missed by any of our viewers. Vu and Lan Bui talking about the pitfalls of crowd funding & 4K shooting Here’s the gist of the content: • Is 4K a waste of time and money or not? Some very diverging opinions and experiences about shooting on 4K are discussed – Jan and Christof highlight how shooting in 4K on the 1DC with director of photography (and cinema5D partner) Johnnie Behiri saved their butts because they ran out of time but were able to crop into the wide shots to still get those “close ups” that were needed. Lan and Vu argue how much effort needs to be added to post production when dealing with 4K, despite the fact that virtually no clients demands 4K finishing in this day and age. • Crowd funding for indie productions The greatest part of the discussion is about how to fund films via crowd funding. Vu and Lan Bui have a lot of experience with crowd funding because of the feature film “20 Feet Below” and other projects, while Jan Woletz and Christof Dertschei are on the brink of starting their Kickstarter campaign for Wienerland. They talk about how important it is to build an audience before you actually start the campaign, about budgeting for production as well as the perks that are given out – which eat up a big part of the crowd funding revenue if done right. Also, we talked about how important it is to be fair to your audience and team members when asking the public for money, because very often filmmakers only think about the cost of the gear that needs to be used, while they “forget” to actually pay their cast & crew. Lan and Vu talk about the importance of having a “bigger name” no their cast list – like in their case Danny Trejo. Jan Woletz said to that casting choice, “Danny Trejo’s face is the best reason to shoot in 4K,” and I have to say he might be right :) This is an incredibly engaging discussion and I recommend it to anyone who is interesting in finance any kinds of projects via crowd funding, there is so much to learn from all these guys! Jan Woletz & Christof Dertschei, the director & producer behind “Wienerland” Huge thanks especially to Katharina Dietl for her work on that show, we had serious audio problems and she worked tirelessly on fixing these to get this show finally out (and she also did the live edit and camera, assisted by Chloe Mae). For all ON THE COUCH episodes so far, click here:Read more
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