On February 8, 2001, Disney California Adventure’s opening day’s main attraction was its new experience, Soarin’ Over California. Aerial videos of California attractions are projected on an 80ft screen to an audience sitting in specialized seats. The experience allows the viewers to feel as if they are in a hang glider soaring over the sites. The attraction became so popular that in 2005 it was duplicated at Epcot in Florida, where it remains one of the park’s most successful attractions. But now, with the advancement of drone technology, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a trip to a Disney park, then wait in a long line to have a similar experience.
Vadim Sherbakov is an award winning photographer and videographer from Russia. Specializing in time blending images, his work has been featured on HBO, Showtime, Netflix, and in countless print publications. He even offers masterclasses to budding photographers on how to choose the best drones and cameras, and how to create inspiring films from drone footage. However, what he has become best known for are his drone films, that allow you to feel as if you are soaring over an incredible landscape.
On July 6, 2020, Vadim posted a short drone film titled Serenity that he filmed with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro. Set to music that you would find playing in the world’s most elite day spa, Vadim seamlessly blends footage from stunning locals in Portugal, Norway, Spain, Russia, Belarus, and Iceland. The camera on the drone is positioned uniquely at a 90-degree face down angle, so you feel like you are in a dream flying over the scenes. And as Vadim states, “The film itself is a 3 minutes blend of total tranquility and calmness that allows you to escape reality for just a short while.”
Shortly thereafter, Vadim released Vindur and then Icarus, also shot with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro. Vindur, which means wind in Icelandic as Vadim explains, is an homage to the unparalleled landscape of Iceland- unique mountainscapes, rolling fields, waterfalls, crashing waves, and glaciers are just some of the sights that Vadim transports his viewers to. With Icarus, Vadim wanted to highlight some of his favorite shots taken while filming around the world with the Phantom drone. “From rocky cliffs of Isle of Skye,” Vadim says, “to the mighty Dolomites in Italy. From unearthly Icelandic landscapes to lake belfry in Russia.” With his drone, a mastery of editing and blending, and perfect musical accompaniment, Vadim’s videos truly transport you around the world.
For his most recent project, released on April 26, 2021, Vadim yet again transports viewers to an otherworldly location. This time using a DJI Mini 2, Vadim filmed the frozen landscape of Lake Baïkal in Siberia, Russia, the world’s largest freshwater lake. During the summer, it is a popular beach location, and during the winter a popular tourist destination due to the way it completely freezes over. Vadim’s vision was to use his drone to show what the frozen lake would have looked like hundreds of years ago to a solitary traveler.
The short film, The Noor, hauntingly shows the frozen lake and snow covered jagged rock formations in isolation. A few cars glide over the ice to contrast with what appears to be an almost Neanderthal environment. And though there are no additional special effects like wind and scents being pumped into an auditorium, like on Disney’s Soarin’ adventure, the same feeling is there because of a simple off the shelf drone. “Never in a million years have I thought it would be possible to capture [sic] worlds beauty from this new and exciting prospects,” Vadim said. “New technology gives us this creative freedom, and I am going to explore it furthermore.”