How do drones work on set, and how do drone operators pull off the stunning shots you see on the big screen? I’ve had the pleasure of working in the film industry for more than a decade flying camera drones, and in this article, I’ll shed some light on the subject. Since 2007, I have been flying for XCam Aerials, a Central Florida aerial company owned by Jordy Klein. We have had the pleasure of shooting for companies such as HBO, Netflix, Disney, Publix, Ford, and Dodge as well as for feature films, which includes the Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me.” Jordy and I have been on more than a hundred sets together, and every day provides us with a new shot to capture and a new set of obstacles to overcome.
PREPARATION IS KEY
A typical shoot begins a few weeks or months prior with planning and the submission of necessary paperwork. The folks in production often require copies of our FAA Part 107 certification and proof of insurance. Most productions require $5 to $10 million insurance of liability coverage. After all the formalities are in place, we will then be told the shot or even given storyboards of the shot they are asking us to capture. These storyboards may be hand-drawn, computer-generated, or even done in Previs, which is practically the entire scene rendered in a computer animation. Other times, we simply walk on set blind and are told what the shot is about two minutes before takeoff.
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AUTONOMOUS RESUPPLY IN A CONGESTED BATTLESPACE
Can autonomous drones deliver supplies to troops in an active firefight? DroneUp recently partnered with a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Joint Force Development (JFD) exercise to find out.
IMPROVE YOUR DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY
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UAS TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT The Key to the Future of Drones
In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which established a deadline for the agency: achieve full integration of drones into the airspace by 2015. As the calendar rolls over into 2021, this begs an obvious question: “Are we there yet?”
FLYING FOR A LIVING
A professional UAS operator on what it takes to be successful
ON THE WING
This bird-like drone is incredibly agile and efficient
LiDAR MAPPING A GOLD MINE
When Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia, wanted to open more of its areas to public tours, they asked Inspired Intelligence, a family owned and operated drone business in Buford, Georgia, to help. Inspired Intelligence CEO and founder Nir Pe’er explained, “Besides drone technology, we also used new, amazing cutting-edge technology called LiDAR.
A VIEW FROM ABOVE
Topping out the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
DRONE TOOLS Safely using autonomous flight modes
In the early days of aviation, as aircraft range and endurance increased, so did the fatigue experienced by pilots. Autopilots were invented in 1912, guiding aircraft to fly straight and level on a compass course and greatly reducing a pilot’s workload. For more than a century, autopilots have improved many aspects of aviation safety, but they have also created new problems.
A Colossal Challenge
Photographing Salem’s Oregon Pioneer
911 DRONE DEPLOYMENT
Archer Unmanned Air Systems (Archer UAS), technology company with a 911-integrated drone deployment system, has announced a partnership with RapidDeploy as part of its Lightning Partner Program.