The votes have been tallied and the best drone videos of 2018 have been chosen!
Eighteen aerial content creators were voted on as the winners of the 2nd Annual AirVūz Drone Video Awards. Kingdom of the Wild – Wildlife in Namibia Africa by California drone pilot Mike Bishop was chosen as the Drone Video of the Year, while Johnny Schaer — aka JohnnyFPV — won the FPV (First-Person View) Video of the Year for Saudi Arabia. Both pilots took home a grand prize of $3,000 USD each for their winning videos.
Based in Los Angeles, Bishop recently started an aerial cinematography company called Motion Craft Aerials. Bishop’s film “Awaken Iceland” was a category winner in the first annual Drone Video Awards last year. His aerial films have been selected for a number of film festivals around the world.
Schaer is a professional drone racing pilot who has competed in the Drone Racing League on ESPN. The Illinois native now travels the world with his racing drones, showcasing the innovative cinematography capabilities of the small quadcopters. He’s flown drones with the likes of Will Smith and Sam Kolder, among other influencers. Schaer won the drone racing category in the inaugural Drone Video Awards with his video “DRONE RACING UNDERGROUND.”
Finalists in each category were selected by the staff at AirVūz and sponsors from drone-related companies such as Horizon Hobby, Polar Pro, GetFPV, Rotor Riot, Tiny Whoop, The Drone Girl, DroneLife, Women and Drones, and Women Who Drone. Out of over 30,000 videos uploaded, finalists were selected based on the quality, level of difficulty and creativity of a drone video or photograph uploaded to AirVuz.com in 2018.
The winners were announced on AirVūz Live on Facebook on Feb. 18. Over $10,000 USD was awarded to winners in 18 categories, an increase from 11 categories in the inaugural competition. Each category winner will receive $500 USD, a plaque, and prizes.
AirVūz, an online community and media hosting site for drone pilots and aerial enthusiasts, launched this contest last year to celebrate the very best in drone cinematography. All videos uploaded to AirVuz.com between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 were eligible to be chosen as finalists. The contest was open to anyone in the world who uploaded an originally-shot drone video or photo to AirVuz.com.
A total of seven FPV (first-person view) categories were included in this year’s contest: Freestyle Cinematic, Freestyle Technical, Freestyle Flow, Micro Drone Acro Mode, Micro Drone Angle Mode, Tiny Whoop Acro Mode and Tiny Whoop Angle Mode. Camera drone categories include: Nature & Landscape, Countries & Regions, Cities & Urban, People & Lifestyle, Dronie, Extreme Sports, Originality, Still Photography, Game of Drones (filming locations from “Game of Thrones”), Drones for Good, and Reels.
For more information about the contest, click here.
A list of the 2nd Annual AirVūz Drone Video Awards winners can be found below:
DRONE VIDEO OF THE YEAR — Kingdom of the Wild – Wildlife in Namibia Africa by MikeBishop.tv
FPV VIDEO OF THE YEAR — Saudi Arabia by JohnnyFPV
CITIES & URBAN — St. Petersburg – The City of White Nights by Timelab.pro
DRONIE — The Last Dronie by chrisxgxc
FPV FREESTYLE CINEMATIC — Saudi Arabia by JohnnyFPV
FPV FREESTYLE FLOW — The Cold Edge of the World by Gab707
FPV FREESTYLE TECHNICAL — Kill The Spot by Tomz FPV
TINY WHOOP ACRO — Surfin USA – Tiny Whoop LiPO FlOW by hoodblade
TINY WHOOP ANGLE — Lake Maria by BluJ
MICRO DRONE ACRO — Envelopment by nurkfpv
MICRO DRONE ANGLE — “Onnanocos” x Micro Drone by KatsuFPV
PEOPLE & LIFESTYLE — Land of the Maya – Guatemala and Mexico by videobros
GAME OF DRONES — The Ice Cave – Drone Flying Inside an Ice Cave in Iceland by snorrithor
COUNTRIES & REGIONS — 4K Icelandic Drone Adventure by Brendon Dixon
DRONES FOR GOOD — Kingdom of the Wild – Wildlife in Namibia Africa by MikeBishop.tv
NATURE & LANDSCAPE — THE EPIC NORTH!! NORWAY, ICELAND, FAROE ISLANDS – Drone by PilotViking
EXTREME SPORTS — A New Perspective (Audi Nines 2018) by JohnnyFPV
ORIGINALITY — 24 HRS by panvelvet
REEL — Showreel 2018 by aeroCircus
PHOTO — Girl and Ice by antoinejans
PEOPLE’S CHOICE — MAGIC ICELAND | Drone & Time-lapse 4K by davidaguilar
Our featured pilot this week is Blue Owl FPV, a nominee in the 2nd Annual Drone Video Awards in the “FPV Freestyle Flow” category. She shares with us some info on one of her favorite (and more unique) quad builds:
When it comes to chase footage of FPV quads and vehicles, Jake Yubeta (aka Yubeta.Blv FPV) is one of the best. He checks in with us for this week’s #QuadGoals feature to talk about his latest build that he’s been chasing some awesome trucks with.
“This is one of a couple Gordo builds that I’ve been cycling through for the end of 2018. It works great for the task of chasing motorsports, carrying lots of speed and minimizing drag surfaces with its centralized mass. Higher battery voltage has really helped get the speed, consistency and flight times a little better, though battery is still the limiting factor for most projects. When it comes to straight up freestyle flight characteristics I tend to prefer top mount batteries but I find that the point and shoot nature/flight dynamic afforded by this style frame makes getting reliable and repeatable footage a snap. The durability provided by the thick arms and comprehensive 3d print package make it one of my favorite grab and go video quads!”
Drone pilot: Yubeta.Blv FPV
Video created with this quad: Race Truck Chase Footage – Cabot Bigham – Glen Helen
This week, we feature JonhyO Tapadas, who tells us about his quad that he used to chase the awesome cars in the video below:
“The combination of the smoothness of the Ethix ltd Mr Steele with 1700kv and the quality of the stack of Hobbywing F4 G2, make this my favorite setup for cinematography captured with a mini drone. With the autonomy of 6s greatly increases flight time, providing more opportunities to capture better moments. The ImpulseRc Reverb has always been a frame that brought me a lot of comfort on the flight and has helped a lot in bringing big shots home. When I ‘sit on the pilot’s seat’ the world around me becomes a real amusement park, looking for the craziest spots and the most spectacular moments. Looking forward to develop more my flight and to bring more cool stories to the community.”
Drone pilot: JonhyO Tapadas
Video created with this quad: CMS – Almada Extreme Sprint – Drone Chase Rally Cars- #FPVRallyCarChase
Jonny Durst, known in the drone world as airblastr, is this week’s #QuadGoals featured pilot. Previously seen on “Behind the Goggles,” Jonny takes us behind the scenes on one of his latest epic videos, as well as the quad he used to film it:
“VASTR is the result of an amazing opportunity I had to work with the guys at GoPro to create stunning images of the landscape in British Columbia. We flew around in helicopters for two days exploring remote areas, stopping to take in the sights and sounds. Flying my quadcopter in areas like this was a dream come true. I kept the flying simple in order to allow the viewer to really take in the views. My favorite moment was flying through the glacier field and the narrow crevasse. It’s moments like that you really have to know and trust your equipment and I had full confidence in my gear. In the end it was an epic adventure and one I will never forget! Thank you all for the support!” – Jonny “Airblastr” Durst
Drone pilot: airblastr
Video created with this quad: VASTR – Exploring the Landscape of British Columbia
DYS F4 V2 Flight Controller (Betaflight)
POLAR PRO – Cinema Series ND Filters (8, 16, 32)
Kwad3D Printed Mounts
We have a New York-based pilot for this week’s feature: Washbuilt. As you’ll see, he’s a big fan of supporting local businesses — something that can be tough to do in the FPV world. Learn more about his favorite quad, with many of the parts locally sourced.