The first-ever Drone Film Festival was held in New York City in 2014 to celebrate the art of drone cinematography. Winning submissions included a hypnotic aerial tour of the Santa Monica Pier; a colorful music video by OK Go! featuring a Busby Berkeley-style bird's-eye dance routine and a short film imagining what it would look like if you strapped a GoPro camera to Superman.
Drones are fast becoming the darling of low-budget filmmakers looking to capture the kind of shots formerly reserved for Hollywood blockbusters. No need to rent budget-busting helicopters, cranes or booms for those magnificent aerial tracking shots. A $1,000 drone and the right HD camera will do quite nicely [source: Watercutter].
In 2014, the FAA granted permission to a handful of Hollywood film and production companies to use drones on closed sets with certified pilots and flying no higher than 400 feet (122 meters) [source: Johnson]. The film industry celebrated the announcement and hopes for further loosening of the rules in late 2015.
In the not-too-distant future, Hollywood will be hiring crews of drone camera operators with both the manual dexterity to fly the whirring robots and the artistic eye to capture the scene.