Due to strict regulations flying without a special permit is prohibited in most cities or urban environments. Obtaining a permit can be expensive and time consuming and sometimes your client just doesn’t have the time or money.
To make things easier, in this post we are showing some effective, alternative, solutions to make ‘fake‘ drone shots. The end result:

Step 1: Get the right equipment

Here’s what you need:
– Monopod
– Stabiliser
– Camera

For these shots we used the MOZA AIR Stabiliser, as monopod, with a GH5 and a 16-35mm Canon lens. You can use any type of monopod , stabiliser or camera as long as they fit well together.

You just need to unscrew the head of the monopod and screw on the stabiliser. The equipment is ready, it’s time to make the shot.

Step 2: Search for spots that are higher than ground level

Drone shots offer an aerial perspective and are shot from up high (example), so try to get higher than ground level. Search for places like bridges, balconies, rooftops & parking lots.

Step 3: Make the ‘drone’ video

To make the shot, try to keep the camera just over the edge, so you won’t see it in your footage. Then do a test round to see if you angle is right, and make sure to adjust the focus and settings, then walk along the edge.

Holding the camera over the edge.

Make sure you use ninja feet. So you won’t get vibrations in your footage.

Don’t hold the camera straight up. It’s easier for the stabiliser to get rid of the vibrations when the camera is in a small angle to the front.

Don’t hold the camera straight up.

A different and even better way of doing it, is by using a skateboard. You’ll get more speed in your shot and it’s even smoother.

The bottom line

Sometimes you just need to get creative to get the shots you need for the budget that you’re working with. Although these shots will never give you the flexibility that you get with a drone, it is a legal way of getting legal aerial footage.