It may have been freezing cold, but this year I got the pleasure of attending the AirVūz Second Annual Drone Video Awards, live at the awards ceremony in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This is one of the highest-stakes drone video contests, with more than $15,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the creators of videos in 18 different categories, plus a Drone Video of the Year, a First Person View (FPV) Video of the Year, and a People’s Choice award — all drawn from a collection of more than 30,000 drone videos uploaded to the AirVūz website throughout 2018. Full disclosure: I also served as one of the judges!
Winners were announced via a Facebook Live broadcast (which you can watch on Facebook here). I participated in the broadcast myself, getting to announce the Drones for Good winner. Coincidentally, that winner, Mike Bishop, also won the top honor, Drone Video of the Year, for the same video, called Kingdom of the Wild: Wildlife in Namibia, Africa. His video, which was undertaken in collaboration with leading drone manufacturer DJI and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, was filmed at the country’s Erindi game preserve.
Bishop is no newbie to making stunning drone videos. He won the “Countries” category at the inaugural Drone Video Awards last yearwith his video “Awaken” Iceland. The California-based photographer has won numerous other accolades and awards, both at drone film festivals and also at other film award venues.
The FPV Video of the Year was awarded to Johnny Schaer, who is better known as “JohnnyFPV” for a video he shot at the Mada’in Saleh archaeological site in the Arabian Desert. Schaer also won the Extreme Sports category for his FPV video A New Perspective, in which he used an FPV drone to film the Audi Nines ski event at the Sölden resort in the Austrian Alps. Schaer also won one of the FPV categories at the first annual Drone Video Awards last year.
Here is a complete list of all the other winners:
- Cities & Urban – “St. Petersburg – The City of White Nights” ⌘🎥: Timelab.pro (the Russian drone company also won this category last year!)
- Countries & Region – “4K Icelandic Drone Adventure” ⌘🎥: Brendon Dixon
- Drones for Good – “Kingdom Of The Wild – Wildlife in Namibia Africa” ⌘🎥: MikeBishop.tv
- Dronie – “The Last Dronie” ⌘🎥: chrisxgxc
- Extreme Sports – “A New Perspective (Audi Nines 2018)” ⌘🎥: JohnnyFPV
- Game of Drones – “The Ice Cave – Drone Flying Inside an Ice Cave in Iceland” ⌘🎥: snorrithor
- FPV Freestyle Cinematic – “Saudi Arabia” ⌘🎥: JohnnyFPV
- FPV Freestyle Flow – “The Cold Edge of the World” ⌘🎥: Gab707
- FPV Freestyle Technical – “Kill The Spot” ⌘🎥: Tomz FPV
- Micro Drone Acro Mode – “Envelopment” ⌘🎥: nurkfpv (Fun fact: Nurkkala was recently crowned the winner of the third Drone Racing League (DRL) World Championship, broadcast on ESPN.)
- Micro Drone Angle Mode – “オンナノコズ：Onnanocos × Micro Drone” ⌘🎥: KatsuFPV
- Nature & Landscape – “THE EPIC NORTH!! NORWAY, ICELAND, FAROE ISLANDS – Drone” ⌘🎥: PilotViking
- Originality – “24 HRS” ⌘🎥: panvelvet
- People & Lifestyle – “Lands of the Maya – Guatemala and Mexico” ⌘🎥: videobros
- People’s Choice – “MAGIC ICELAND | Drone & Time-lapse 4K” ⌘🎥: davidaguilar
- Reel – “Showreel 2018 🕹🚁🎬” ⌘🎥: aeroCircus
- Still Photography – “Girl and Ice” ⌘📸: antoinejans
- Tiny Whoop Acro Mode – “Surfin USA – Tiny Whoop LiPO FlOW” ⌘🎥: hoodblade
- Tiny Whoop Angle Mode – “Lake Maria” ⌘🎥: BluJ
Inspired by the videos? AirVuz said the window is now open to enter its 2020 awards show. All uploads to airvuz.com from 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019 will be eligible for the 3rd Annual Drone Video Awards.
And for even more inspiration, here were last year’s winners.