Video Editing

Hacks to take aerial videos or DIY overhead shots for social media

Posted September 27, 2021
Written by Clipchamp

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If you’re making a how-to video, an artist timelapse, a breathtaking landscape slideshow, or a social media marketing campaign, aerial overhead shots increase production value and make your video 100x more visually engaging. How? Because uncommon filming techniques instantly engage viewers and intrigue them to watch more. 

Aerial overhead video shots CC thumbnail

Thanks to Buzzfeed’s series of “Tasty” videos, we’ve all most likely been hooked into watching a cooking video on Facebook. But have you ever thought about why those videos are so entertaining and hard to click away? 

You might be thinking it’s because the cooking mess is magically cleaned up before the next clip appears (satisfying, right?), but Buzzfeed’s use of aerial overhead video shots has taken over the way we consume video. 

So, how can you easily create an aerial overhead video shot for social media? Read on to explore Clipchamp’s favorite aerial overhead video hacks for content creators and small business owners. 

Understanding aerial or DIY overhead shots

An aerial overhead video shot is a video angle that captures everything in the frame from an elevated position. Similar to a bird’s eye perspective, aerial overhead shots are perfect for capturing wide landscapes, action shots, or food shots on a table. 

Instead of having the entire subject in the frame, creators can focus on what they’re trying to display and only capture their arms or hands if they desire. The unique perspective to the frame adds depth, production value, and beauty to your social media videos. 

Understanding aerial overhead shots

How to edit aerial or DIY overhead videos

When it comes to editing your aerial overhead videos for social media, Clipchamp’s free online video editor has all the features you need to create a great video—with no experience needed. Edit your aerial clips hassle-free in-browser or on the go using Clipchamp’s iOS app

Add text, trim, split, flip, rotate, or crop videos, add overlays, transitions, background music, and special effects to make your aerial social media video come to life. Upload your overhead video directly to social media with Clipchamps saving integrations. 

How to edit aerial overhead videos

Aerial or DIY overhead video hacks

Creating eye-catching aerial overhead video shots doesn’t have to be a dreaded process.

Check out these hacks so you can create an aerial video in no time. 

1. Use an extra-long selfie stick

If you’re not a risk-taker or dislike heights, the extra-long selfie stick hack will be for you. The selfie stick does more than just help you take wonderful selfies. 

You can attach your smartphone or camera to the selfie stick, extend it to its limit, and tilt your camera at a downwards angle. This hack is a great way to achieve aerial overhead shots on a budget. 

Keep in mind that your selfie stick must be strong enough to take basic movements and the weight of your camera and avoid jerky or fast movements while recording. 

The selfie stick hack works in the same way as a gimbal with a monopod, but without automatic stabilization. This hack will be successful in any environment.

Extra-long selfie stick

2. Reuse a cracker box with tape

Get creative and recycle cardboard boxes. Popular YouTuber Natalia Taylor has shown her audience how she easily creates overhead video shots using a recycled Ritz cracker box.

For this hack to successfully work, all you need to do is find a light cardboard box and tape that will not damage your ceiling. Attach the box to your ceiling, place your smartphone or camera in the box facing the camera out, and start recording.

Be extra careful when removing the tape off your ceiling as you do not want to damage the paintwork.

Ritz cracker box

3. Use a gimbal and monopod together

Gimbals are regularly used to assist the stability of video clips, but have you ever considered attaching your gimbal to a monopod or tripod? It’s the perfect alternative to a drone. 

Create cinematic movements by placing your camera or smartphone at the top of the gimbal mount. Move the camera closer or further away from the subject at an overhead position. Just make sure to maintain the same pace and distance throughout the whole video clip. 

The gimbal and monopod combination will provide a decent height to shoot overhead shots, giving a drone-like illusion. 

Gimbal and monopod combination

4. Hire a drone

Hiring a helicopter is most likely completely out of budget. Instead, the modern drone is the next best thing. Drones have a wide variety of camera controls that allow you to guide the camera movements to capture specific areas or follow objects, people, or animals.

Whether you’re live streaming the audience at an event, showcasing the landscape, or even a boat trip, drone footage can add another dimension to your social media videos. When required, drones can also be used indoors to capture overhead action within enclosed spaces. 

5. Create a zip line

If you’re feeling adventurous, creating a zipline going from point A to point B might just be the aerial video shot hack you’re looking for. 

For this hack to work, you’ll need to source a pulley and a rope that is strong enough to hold your smartphone or video camera or buy an affordable zip line attachment. The point A rope also must be at a higher altitude than point B to achieve perfect movement. If you’re unable to find a stable attachment point at point B, ask a friend to hold the zip line at point B for you. 

All you have to do is attach your camera or smartphone to the pulley, press record, then let the camera move from point A to point B. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. 

6. Shoot from a rooftop

A rooftop is one of the most popular ways to film overhead aerial video if you don’t own a drone and want to film outside. The rooftop perspective will shoot a birds-eye view video of the camera looking down on the subject.

With the help of basic rigs to gain control over your recording device, you can easily film overhead video from a balcony, bridge, building, or house rooftop. Just be extra careful when placing your smartphone or camera on the rooftop as you do not want yourself or the camera to fall. Proceed with caution. 


Time to DIY video editing with Clipchamp!

Shooting aerial overhead video is easy when using one of our six filming hacks. Whether you’re up for a challenge or prefer to use a traditional method, adding overhead videos to your social media will keep your viewers entertained and inspired. 

You don’t need to be an editing guru to create a beautiful overhead video. Simply sign up for free today to Clipchamp’s online video editor

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