DJI Spark Review

Concept and Filming

I wanted to create a video review that would not look out of place on a tech review site or a professional YouTube review channel. I chose to review the Spark because a video review of a Drone lends itself to beautiful and engaging footage. 

To ensure my review was unique to my viewpoint and experiences, I decided to only cover the specific areas of the Spark that I had personally used or that had garnered interest from me. I wanted to avoid a simple ‘general’ review that covered every spec and feature of the Spark, as these are commonplace and I wouldn’t be adding anything new. 

I began by making a list of everything I wanted to cover, then creating a roadmap for the different shots I wanted to film. I filmed over three days in three different locations, which was beneficial for showing different weather conditions effecting the Drone. In my final edit I also used past footage I had filmed with the Spark.

After I was satisfied with filming, I wrote my script and recorded the audio.

After Effects

In After Effects I created the intro graphic. The graphic was to have constant motion through multiple moving objects, but not look overly busy or distracting. 

I began by creating a dot grid on a plain red background. I then made the circular wave effect that starts in the middle of the screen and expands out. I did this without plug-ins by starting with a basic ellipse shape and animating its scale with an expression, then linking it in a pre-composition with each individual dot.

The initial Ellipse
Became an expanding dot wave

I layered this wave effect over my stationary dot grid and repeated it a few times. 

I then added arrow-like shapes that would appear and move across the screen. These arrows would have different sizes, appear in different locations and move at different speeds, but be strongly faded. They would give the sense of motion without drawing the eye. 

I also transformed three of the dots into larger and thicker crosses, which were to rotate at different speeds. These crosses were to slightly break up the dot grid, but were also near the edges to give the grid a subtle visual frame.

The three crosses and two of the moving arrows

I made an animation for the words ‘DJI Spark Review’ to appear in the middle of the screen. I made a curtain effect, with the words looking as if they’re coming from a seam in the screen, then had a solid line zig-zag across the centre to cover the ‘seam’ and make it look like it was revealing the words.

The final step was making the large arrows to traverse the screen when transitioning to and from the intro graphic.

The words appearing from the coloured line
The large arrows for the scene transition

In After Effects I also animated the arrows and words for the scene where I label objects in the bag, the arrows and number counter for when I’m showing the size measurements of the Drone and carry bag, and the red circle that tracks the Spark when it’s circling around me in the Helix autopilot mode.

Audio

I mastered my voiceover in Audition, and recorded some varied beats in Music Maker Jam to play in the background. The beats are only slightly different as I wanted consistency. The background music is louder than I usually have it because I feel it’s an important compliment to the footage. 

Premiere Pro

I put everything together and completed all editing in Premiere Pro. 

My Premiere Pro timeline
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