There are a ton of great drone videos out there. And there are a ton of great videos from DJI. The drone giant knows that slick videos sell product, so it’s been known to throw a few dollars behind important productions. And the production we’re about to explore? It was not inexpensive.

I know two of the people who were involved in this production. Brent Foster is a Canadian filmmaker and was one of the earliest cinematographers to adopt using drones. His company, Foster Visuals, has some stellar productions to its credit. Another one of the filmmakers on the trip, Pawel Dwulit, runs production company Paradigm Pictures and also incorporates drone visuals into much of his work. Back in 2016, they collaborated on a production for DJI World that took them — plus all of their gear, including a zillion batteries — to the southern reaches of South America.

DJI video The Last Colonizer
That’s Heraldo Riel, whom you’ll meet in a moment…

Specifically, they traveled to the remote region known as Patagonia. It involved flying to Santiago, taking a smaller hired aircraft, a super long car drive that included a treacherous storm and a downed tree on the highway — followed by multiple days by horseback.

Two purposes

Why go so far away? What was the point of an arduous trip to a far-flung area with no electricity? Well, there were a couple of key reasons. The first was to tell the story of Gaucho Heraldo Riel, who lives alone and in total isolation. The second was to demonstrate the full gamut of DJI gear in capturing this story. At the time, back in early 2016, that meant the Inspire One, the original Osmo, the Ronin M, and various other bits and pieces.

DJI's The Last Colonizer
Even the frame grabs look like art…

The crew also bad to bring in all of the batteries required for their entire shoot. There was no electricity on site and no generator. They had to bring in everything required for the shoot.

Gorgeous in every respect

I couldn’t tell you precisely what it is about this video that appeals to me so much. If you were to ask me what I like, the answer I’d give you is “Everything.” And it’s true. The visuals, the editing, the music — everything just pulls together with synergy in this production. It all feels just right.

Of course, the best part of this is that Heraldo Riel has a fascinating story. And, without further adieu, here it is:

This is one gorgeous video

And behind-the-scenes

As you can imagine, it was a fair amount of work to capture this video. And, thankfully, the filmmakers documented some of their travels. You’ll see Brent and Pawel in this video:

How they made it…

All time favorite…

When people ask me for an example of a great short film, I pull this one out. It doesn’t matter that it’s four years old or that some of today’s gear may be better. I honestly cannot imagine anyone doing a better job with this story than this team accomplished.

I’ve shown this video to journalism students, drone pilots, and even other cinematographers. Hope you enjoyed these and get a chance to share them yourself.

What did you like best about these videos? Let us know in the comments!

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