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Last weekend my fellow writers and filmmakers Jon and Travis helped out at a video shoot for a local web series. Part of the shoot involved an unmanned remote-controlled drone, which are becoming cheaper for consumers to purchase (Brookstone, for example, offers one with a built-in HD camera for just $300). In an piece for Outside, Joe Spring takes a look at how these consumer drones and inexpensive consumer HD cameras could change adventure filmmaking.

Unmanned drones, once used primarily by the U.S. Department of Defense for wartime operations, are becoming a staple in the adventure world, deployed to do everything from monitor endangered orangutans in Indonesia to aid in search-and-rescue efforts in Colorado. But they’ve become especially popular with filmmakers. This is partly because, even at upwards of $5,000 per day, a drone runs a fraction of the cost of a helicopter rental. It can also get close to athletes without propeller wash kicking up snow or dust. And since drones are unmanned, they allow filmmakers to take greater risks in pursuit of the ultimate shot. In the past few years, unmanned drones have captured innovative footage of surfers in Australia, mountain bikers in England, and skiers in Oregon.

“How Military-Style Drones are Changing Adventure Filmmaking” by Joe Spring

Lately I’ve been really drawn to short, gorgeous documentary videos like this one. The best place I’ve found to browse them and get inspired is Those Who Make, a site that’s all about people who craft, sculpt, build, cook, and create, and how exactly they do what they do.

I love everything about this video of Stockholm’s Pärlans candy shop, from the old-school jazz music to the outfits to the lingering shots of wrapping candy.

Great story in Airman Magazine about the “Boneyard” – an Air Force base in Arizona that looks like a plane graveyard, but actually gives old aircraft new life:

The planes range from older ones, like the F-86 and B-52 Stratofortress, to newer ones, like the C-5 Galaxy. Though retired from active duty, each aircraft still performs a vital mission.

“Parts,” said Bill Amparano, an aircraft mechanic with the 309th AMARG. “These planes offer parts to the fleet. If a unit can’t find a replacement part for one of their aircraft, they’ll send us a request and we’ll take the part off one of our planes and send it to them.”

In other words, the AMARG is like a giant “pick-and-pull” for the Air Force, offering hard-to-find parts to units around the world. And, while it’s said the Boneyard is where planes go to die, it’s the opposite that’s true.

“They don’t come here to die, they’re just taking a break,” Amparano said.

“Holding Pattern” by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Bates