Drone Video Awards analysis: Moscow Aerial 5K

Over the course of several blog posts, we’ll be taking a look at the winning videos from the 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards.  There were a total of 13 winners — 12 videos and a Photo of the Year winner — in our inaugural contest. Each stood out for a different reason, and we’ll go in-depth as to what made this videos great.

We’ll be starting with the best for the first of this series. The Russian drone company Timelab.pro produced a stunning video of Moscow that won the “Cities” category of the contest. That video was also chosen as the overall Drone Video of the Year — and it’s easy to see why.

One of the first indicators of the quality of this video is in its title: “Moscow Aerial 5K.” It’s not often we see videos shot in 5K, but the guys at Timelab.pro used the DJI Inspire 2 drone to produce high-quality footage. That in itself sets this film up for success.

Another key ingredient of “Moscow Aerial 5K” is the opening shot. The first several seconds of a drone video are crucial to keeping the viewer engaged, and this video does just that. You’re instantly drawn in by the statue while also seeing the beautiful sunrise in the background. The second shot of the film, a close-up of the statue, continues to keep you interested in watching more.

The color grading of the video is also a big reason why this film is so successful. If you’re not familiar with color grading, it refers to the editing process of altering the color in post production. The colors in “Moscow Aerial 5K” are stunning, and that’s due in large part to the color grading done after the footage was taken.

One other factor that made this film stand out was it showcased an area we don’t often see in drone videos. Moscow is not a common location in videos on AirVūz, so the uniqueness of that was noted. Pilots Andrew Efimov and Andrew Rodin of Timelab.pro said in an interview for “The Drone Dish” that they actually received some violations for flying over the Kremlin.

It turned out that the violation was worth it. The video earned them the top prize in the AirVuz Drone Video Awards, along with USD $1,000 — and bragging rights for an entire year.