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Whether it’s capturing the extraordinary hidden lives of the world’s wildlife, giving enraptured movie audiences a birds-eye view of incredible city vistas, or finding new ways to show viewers the massive impact of natural disasters or world events, drones operators are now an essential part of a film crew. Their rise has been staggering and the opportunities for their operators are vast.

But it’s not enough just to get a camera into the air. The very best drone filmmakers combine art, science and ingenuity, working out how to send their drones where no cameras have gone before. They’re an essential part of any filmmakers’ team. That’s why COPTRZ has teamed up with Philip Bloom, one of the world’s most respected filmmakers, for our Drone Filming Masterclass: a new ground-breaking one-day cinematography course covering the entire process: from location scouting and storyboarding to the technical skills needed to get the best shots.

Places on this course are limited to ensure the best participant experience possible, and demand is likely to be high. Book your course here, or speak to one of our friendly staff on 0330 111 7177. To find out more about the course, just scroll down.


About Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who, for the past 10 years of his 27-year career has specialised in creating incredible cinematic images - no matter what kind of camera. He has worked for all the major UK broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV, C4, Sky and many more. 

Independent projects are key to Philip and he splits his time between bigger projects, such as DSLR cinematographer for Lucasfilms, and small independent ones. One of his most successful independent film projects was How To Start A Revolution which won a BAFTA in 2012 and was also awarded prizes at several film festivals, including Best Documentary at the 2011 Raindance festival.

Who will benefit from this course?
This course is for people with limited or no cinematography experience. However, you may be considering getting a commercial drone permission, or already hold a PfCO, and want to deliver quality creative films. If you’ve got any questions, just speak to one of our friendly staff on 0330 111 7177.

Course Contents

Course runs from 9am to 5pm.

Introduction to drone filming

Be inspired with our brief history of drone filming – how the world’s best camerapeople are using this new technology and taking it forward to extraordinary effect. You’ll also be talked through the basics on how to use a standard drone camera.

Techniques to get great footage

This section looks at the technical side of shooting: for examples, using two axes of movement to achieve steadiness, strafing, fly-through shots and so on. It examines the risks and benefits of different techniques and discusses which is most effective for your particular project, big or small, giving you the skills you need to take on any job.


All the best directors have used storyboards: from Stanley Kubrick to Steven Spielberg. It’s a skill that gives you that professional touch. You’ll learn why to storyboard, how to do it, about the flexibility it gives you, and how to put it into practice on set.


Getting the perfect shot is never just a matter of luck: pre-planning is essential to make the most of what can be very limited filming time. This section takes you through timing and identifying potential problems with the light available, choosing and scouting locations, getting permissions, identifying possible issues such as weather/obstacles, and how best to go about solving those.

Equipment selection overview

There’s a huge amount of kit available – so what should you focus on? Should you buy a drone, then fit your own video equipment? Or is it best to get an all-in-one model? Is it enough just to strap on a GoPro? Is a landing pad really necessary? We’ll guide you through the best equipment, looking at the best you can get for any budget.

Creative tips

Getting the right shot with a drone requires knowledge of creative techniques. Philip will give you an insider’s view on how to achieve those perfect shots, including using light, where to start and finish a shot, putting together shots such as reveals and fly-bys, capturing essential detail, creating effects, and figuring out the story you’re trying to tell.

Working in an ensemble

What’s it really like to work as a drone operator on a big production? Philip will draw on his considerable experience and discuss: liaising with the rest of the team, working with directors to achieve common goals, achieving the right look and feel, creative problem-solving with drone technology.

Cameras and filters: which to choose?

Again, there’s a vast selection out there and a lot to consider: light and weather conditions, weight, ease of use, price, compatibility and, of course, your desired end result. This section guides you through asking the right questions to get the right result for any budget. 

Drone review: finding the right one for you

Finding the right drone for your needs can be tough, especially when there’s so much choice around. This section will take you through the most popular drones for filmmaking on the market right now, looking at the pros and cons of each one and its suitability for particular projects.

Flying time

If weather conditions allow, the course will include flying time and a workshop.


Carlton, North Yorkshire: Carlton Towers, Carlton, Goole DN14 9LZ

Join COPTRZ and Philip Bloom at the incredible Carlton Towers a Grade I Listed Victorian gothic county house. It recently starred as Windsor Castle in the recent ITV1 lavish costume drama Victoria

Case studies

Planet Earth II

When the team on BBC Wildlife’s groundbreaking Planet Earth II wanted shots of the jungle that nobody had ever seen before, they turned to drone pilot Guy Alexander and cameraman Ewan Donnachie. The two had to come up with ways to film the 99 per cent of animals that live in the treetop canopy, 100ft up in dense, wet, dangerous jungle conditions. Together, they designed a ‘jungle-adapted’ drone which was able to take heavy cameras right up where they needed to be. The results: extraordinary birds-eye shots of the Costa Rica canopy.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

For the ultimate battle, you need the ultimate drone footage. Helicopter Film Services (HFS) used the Aerigon UAV to capture incredible shots from the skies, showing the destruction of an entire city on the Hendon-based set. The shots were used as background, with CG effects to be added later – so they had to be as smooth as silk. Once again, the drone camera captured shots that simply wouldn’t have been possible any other way, such as swooping through buildings and out the other side.

Top Gear

Smooth shots are essential to capture the excitement of fast driving, and Top Gear producers in both the UK and the US have embraced drone filming to ramp up the adrenaline. Recent drone shots have included Matt le Blanc riding a sand buggy through the Moroccan desert, while Top Gear US chose drones to get stunning footage of the team taking on the US Army at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert.

Don’t miss out – book your course now!

Spaces for this course are limited, so we recommend you act quickly to secure your place here, or speak to one of our friendly staff on 0330 111 7177. We want you to be 100 per cent happy with your course – so if you’ve got any further questions, we’re always delighted to answer them. 

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