Back in 2015, drones were a luxurious tool that made beautiful aerial footage a possibility for filmmakers with a limited budget. Drones sent our eyes where our bodies couldn’t go, giving filmmakers endless possibilities to film action scenes, wide establishing aerial shots, and a perspective that can’t be done with any other tool (except maybe a helicopter). 

Now, almost everyone and their mom have a drone. Drones, while once a luxury item, can now cost under $100, allowing a wider range of consumers to purchase and experiment with drone footage. 

If you want drone footage that stands out amongst the rest, Sean Alami has 10 drone moves that will make your footage more cinematic. Check out his full-length video below: 

Move in close

By pushing your drone forward in your wide-angle establishing shot, you can create a dynamic image that pulls your audience in closer as they focus on the foreground element in the shot. This helps create depth and brings life into a simple shot. 

Move out with a back tilt

Start with the camera looking down. As the drone moves back, the camera slowly starts to tip up and reveal the background. Changing the perspective is a great way to push an emotional moment or showcase the location. 


A parallax movement will have the foreground moving in one direction while the object stays at the center of the frame. It is a visually stimulating camera move that is simple and unique. You can also move your drone at a slight upward or downward angle while slowly tilting your camera in the opposite direction to get a nice composition of the subject.  

Move in and tilt

This movement best works with your subject at the edge of a cliff or building. By moving in and tilting your camera down, you can establish the depth and intensity of the location. 

Drone_footage_with_tiltCredit: Sean Alami

Move laterally and tilt

Think of this move as a boom shot. As the drone moves up or down, the camera tilts to keep the subject in the center of the frame while revealing the top part of it or its side profile. It’s a shot that can be taken past the reach of a dolly.  

Fly close

This movement will require you to turn off the sensor of your drone, which normally keeps the drone and camera at a safe distance from any object. Since the sensors are off, you will have to keep an eye on your drone at all times. 

Fly low

Sure, a drone is meant to fly high, but it can also capture brilliant shots by flying closer to the ground. Flying low allows you to capture long shots that you would be able to capture with a track or a gimbal with the option of turning into a wide aerial shot without cutting. 

Move in close with tilt

Who doesn’t like a reveal? As you push in, tilt up to reveal your establishing shot. It is a simple shot that has high impact on screen. 

Bird’s-eye view

This shot has the drone moving while the camera is tilted down and parallel to the ground. A bird’s-eye view shot can show the vast landscape and provide a perspective that is unnatural and slightly disorienting to the viewer,  

Be creative

While this isn’t exactly a move, it is a great tip to remember when you can’t think of a good way to get coverage with your drone. Try different techniques and moves to see what drone move will work best for your project. 

Do you have any unique and cinematic drone movements that you use often? Let us know what they are in the comments below!

Source: Sean Alami