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Filmmaker Captures San Francisco Holiday Lights By Drone

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Image from Beto Lopez's Video of San Francisco Holiday Lights (Beto Lopez / http://www.mooncricketfilms.com)

Image from Beto Lopez’s Video of San Francisco Holiday Lights (Beto Lopez / http://www.mooncricketfilms.com)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Aerial views of the city are always stunning, but what can be done with a small drone helicopter and a GoPro or similar camera is breathtaking, just ask Beto Lopez.

He shot and edited this video using an RC quadcopter taken on Christmas Eve, as a Christmas greeting to the Bay Area.

The video shows several San Francisco landmarks from the air, including the Ferry Building, Embarcadero Center, and Coit Tower.

“A lot of people say you can’t do that, you can’t get a night photo with a quadcopter. Well, I proved them wrong as you can see in some of my photos. You have to have a gimbal and have a steady hand,” Lopez told KPIX 5 on Thursday.

The skill of flying through tight spaces creates fascinating shots and takes the viewer past some strange sights.

“It’s also art. I have a vision of that I’m doing, what I’ve always wanted to do. You have these dreams and you wake up, like ‘I wish I could do that with my camera’ for one of my dreams. Well now I can,” Lopez said.

Lopez, a local photographer, videographer and filmmaker got his start at age 4, when he got an 8mm projector. The Disney movies he had as a kid led him to drawing painting, and then movie making. He produces and shoots commercials, independent projects, and even weddings, along with the occasional sweeping view from a drone flying around city landmarks.

Lopez has two of the drones, known as DJI Phantoms. As they can only fly for about 25 minutes before charging the battery, he had to strategize for every shot.

Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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