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Aerial Cinematography with a drone that will carry a RED Epic


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Hey everyone,

 

So I have been working long and hard all summer to perfect my drone for capturing aerial video and here is some of the shots I have captured over the summer.

 

The helicopter is capable of carrying around 6lb, and will carry a RED Epic or C300.

 

The rotor on the helicopter is about 6 feet and the total weight is about 18lbs.

 

Most of this video is actually just shot with a Panasonic X900m ($1000 prosumer camera) but I have found that is it incredible for this purpose. skyeyemedia.com Enjoy

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDFwB87IqEY

 

Cheers,

Chris

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Professional filming with drones is an issue under discussion in the USA. The FAA is currently looking at looking at it.

 

In the UK, they've had companies that specialise in using drone helicopters in film and TV work for a number of years, but you'd need to check with the CAA if you plan to do it professionally yourself. Certainly, you'd need insurance cover. I'd imagine they would be covered by aviation law and there would be places that you couldn't fly a drone without clearance or permission. Turning up and flying a drone over the Houses of Parliament wouldn't go down well.

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WOW! Amazing stuff! Don't listen to....can't shoot because of regulations, blah, blah, blah......fact is, that is amazing stuff. I am kicking myself here, you're in the Barrie area someplace it seems and I could of used your system for my last feature shoot in the Fall for sure!! I'm in Horseshoe Valley and we shot in Parry Sound. Gosh what a missed opportunity.

 

R,

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Not commenting on the quality of the work, just there are also videos of these small drones crashing (in a recent one into a skyscraper). I'm rather surprised that the US hasn't regulations to cover the use of these machines. I've used them on a production in the UK a few years ago (we're usually behind in these things). They can produce great shots, but they can be dangerous when flown close to people.

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Anything powerful enough to lift an Epic is a real risk to life and limb. Not saying it's a bad idea or shouldn't or can't be done. But there's obviously danger here.

 

As Richard says, it's unlikely there will be a serious objection to this - except if someone gets hurt. Therefore, it's incumbent on everyone who does it to ensure that nobody gets hurt, because the first serious mishap has the potential to mess it up for everyone.

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In Canada and the USA at least, anyone can go into a hobby store and buy an RC helicopter. There are several models that can easily carry an iPhone for instance, and presto, instant aerial drone. There are no laws against flying RC helicopters around here.

 

Also, I don't see how the size of the RC helicopter is a risk factor to people, what happens when a full size helicopter crashes (there have been lots) then you have a serious risk of loss of life on the ground. No matter how big an RC helicopter gets, it will always do less damage in a crash situation than a full-size helicopter.

 

R,

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I gather part of the debate is over if you can use amateur rules for commercial work. The FAA is currently investing this matter and given how litigious it is in the US you do need to ensure you've got insurance cover, plus an experienced operator. Flying around buildings and other objects with air turbulence can easily throw small machines into an uncontrollable siltation. As Phil mentioned you need to work safely with these UAVs and an Epic attached to a model helicopter crashing from say 50 ft won't do much good for someone standing underneath.

 

http://photographyforrealestate.net/2012/01/24/warning-faa-says-us-airspace-is-closed-to-all-commercial/

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The problem isn't so much fall damage, in my view - it's being lunched by the spinning rotors.

 

Also, I don't see how the size of the RC helicopter is a risk factor to people

 

As a friend of mine - who flies them - once told me, the small ones will send you to the ER, the large ones will send you to the morgue. Any remotely-controlled flying machine powerful enough to lift an epic is powerful enough to make a very, very nasty mess of a human being, up to and including taking limbs or lives with only a small amount of ill luck. Even a small one could take an eye or a finger (and yes, that goes for things you can buy cheaply over the counter).

 

As I say, I don't have a problem with it and I believe it can be done safely and insurably, but if we're going to start flying these sorts of devices around buildings and people then it's not unreasonable to consider the risks. I certainly don't think that the red tape generated should be as bad as that required to operate, say, a car, which certainly has a higher damage potential. Let's not allow this to turn into the sort of paperwork nightmare created by flying full-sized aircraft; that just ends up being effectively prohibitory.

 

P

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Well I agree it won't be wise to fly these over crowded concerts or sporting events for example, just too big of a risk of course.

 

My point was more if you fly a drone in the same area that you fly a full sized chopper, and they both go down, the full sized chopper does a whole lot more damage when it hits the ground. Also the financial loss of a drone is a fraction of a full sized chopper.

 

Either way, I must have one....then I can fly it around Phil's house and see what he does all day :)

 

R,

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Anyone know specifics of what companies insure for drones and how much it costs? Does the insurance package carried by the production cover UAV suppliers and operators (1st AC) who are employed by the production company?

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