Colorado cinematographer captures breathtaking views with homemade drones


DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver cinematographer is giving Coloradans a view of the state they’ve never seen before. He has spent the last year flying his homemade FPV (first-person view) drones all over Colorado, and the views he captured are stunning.

“That moment when all that preparation and work finalized itself in the shot that you create, it’s amazing,” Will Strathmann told NewsNation affiliate KDVR.

Strathmann is a freelance cinematographer who lives in Denver and started flying — and building — his own FPV drones in recent months. He straps a GoPro camera to the remote control aircraft and choreographs flyovers of empty city streets and between darkened skyscrapers. He also takes the drones on hikes in the Rockies, capturing breathtaking cinematic journeys over mountain ridges and down avalanche chutes. His drone can fly upward of 80 mph.

“I really first discovered FPV drones last year in 2019. I was on YouTube and saw a video of a guy flying FPV and my jaw dropped,” he said. “There were a couple of guys who started using it for filmmaking. As soon as I saw that, my brain just started going.”

“I’ve been a professional freelance cinematographer for six years now, and working with drones for five years commercially on sets. When I saw this and realized I could add this to my tool set, I had to do it,” Strathmann added.

Strathmann’s work was first featured on KDVR in April, when his daybreak flyover of Denver’s iconic “Cash Register Building” — also known as the Wells Fargo Center — went viral.

The FPV drones Strathmann flies are gaining popularity, with drone maker DJI soon entering the market with a mass-produced FPV drone. The technology is also being used in car commercials and Hollywood productions.

“At the crossroads of FPV and professional filmmaking, it’s really just the beginning, and that’s really cool to be a part of,” Strathmann said.

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