How Drones are Used in Movies

At an increasing rate, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been making headlines lately regarding their use in art, movies, and business.

Drones are setting a high bar for new perspectives by providing stunning shots from incredible heights (up to 400 feet). Furthermore, they are extremely cost-effective.

Because drones are so flexible and agile, they are able to be used in very creative ways. This makes them ideal for Hollywood. By using drones, films are able to take advantage of the aerial and hard-to-get shots that only drones can deliver. Films, such as “Skyfall,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Jurassic World,” have been in the forefront in pioneering this trend.

Directors are increasingly impressed with the ability of drones to get to places that people cannot go. Their size enables tremendous versatility and flexibility.

In the recent past, giant cranes or manlifts, helicopters, ladders, etc., were necessary to get impressive shots, but now drones are easily and quickly accomplishing this.

Drones in Movies

In the following Hollywood movies we see various ways in which drones were used, whether it is part of an actor/actress playing a part of a character, a great motorcycle or car chase scene, or an exciting fight in the sky:

  • 2008 “Sleep Dealer,” where the water supply is privately controlled by corporations, and warfare is waged with drones.
  • 2012 “This Means War” shows CIA men competing over a woman, and one agent shoots down a surveillance drone that the other agent deployed to spy on him.
  • 2013 “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars” investigates the impact of the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.
  • 2013 “Olympus Has Fallen” where a small drone is launched by North Korean terrorists to be on the lookout for any military incursion teams.
  • 2014 “X-Men: Days of Future Past” features airborne killer robots that hunt down and kill mutants.
  • 2014 “Transformers: Age of Extinction” where miniature drones are featured as part of the group of villains.
  • 2016 “The Purge: Election Year” features drone warfare.
  • 2017 “Spider-Man: Homecoming” where Spider-Man utilizes a bug-sized drone provided to him by Iron Man.
  • 2018 “Venom” in which there is a scene where several unmanned quadcopters chase down the protagonist.
  • 2020 “Top Gun: Maverick” in which drones are used in flight combat.*


Drones have already proven to be a great asset to modern filmmaking. Their flexibility and agility makes it possible for them to go where humans can’t and their cost-effectiveness has made them very attractive to Hollywood.

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