Did you see any of the "Lord of the Rings" films? Based on the earnings from those movies it is likely that you said "yes" to that question. If so, you were probably just as inspired by the vast landscape shots that were used to depict the journeys, battles, and general beauty of the picturesque settings. Did you realize that many of these shots were done with aerial filming gear like a drone and helicam array? They were, and many filmmakers are hoping to use this same approach to capture their subject matter.
The use of drone and aerial filming is an important major point of discussion among the Hollywood set these days as the FAA considers giving Hollywood a "license to drone". (Reuters, 2014)
Confusion Is Common
If you are an aerial filming enthusiast, you might argue that the FAA hasn't placed restrictions on this equipment, but the reality is that there are some general guidelines for hobbyist helicam use. Ongoing debate and discussion have made it clear that there are not yet any official approvals for drone experts using their high-end tech for commercial purposes. In other words, it is not an allowable activity.
Fortunately, "American aviation officials announced [June 2, 2014] that for the first time ever, they are considering giving the television and movie industry licenses to use unmanned aerial vehicles when filming shows and movies." (Reuters)
This is good news for almost anyone involved in filmmaking in the U.S. because it will ensure that firm rules are in place for the use of this amazing equipment, and that all of the benefits of such gear will soon be much easier to enjoy. This would effectively cut costs by allowing productions to remain in the U.S., it would open up many locations to the use of aerial filming tech, and it would allow helicam experts to begin safely creating master shots.
Consider that Hollywood has been struggling with the issue of drone technology for a while. Filmmakers and media companies are among the few groups restricted by FAA rules. Countless hobbyists and some businesses are able to work within the established guidelines and capture drone footage and to do aerial filming legally, but not commercial entities like film production companies and movie studios.
The Many Benefits of Aerial Filming Opportunities
Until this time, moviemakers in the U.S. have been limited to full-blown helicopter shots, crane shots, or long distance lenses. Though they have created some memorable scenes, few can compare to the results of DJI equipment, drone tech, and multi-rotor units. They offer smooth and seamless shots, comprehensive options (from close up and long distances in one take), and they are amazingly green.
As an example, a multi-rotor frame partnered with a DJI Phantom would generate zero emissions. This is far different from a few passes with a standard helicopter. Not only would the helicam aerial filming array generate superior footage, but it would prevent the noise and air pollution that a traditional helicopter shot would create. It would be far safer too. Thus, it is the more appealing option, if it is made possible by an FAA ruling.
Such a ruling will also make it possible for filmmakers to turn to well established aerial filming experts like Heli Video Pros to provide their world-class services to the motion picture industry. Their expertise with helicam shots would be an option for American production companies of any kind. Based in Vancouver, Canada, this firm is already a highly regarded resource for helicam experts and pilots and for their dedication to the latest technologies. They are certified as aerial cinematographers, proving that they are ahead of the game and ready for the moment that the FAA rulings are put in place.
Film production companies of any kind should consider aerial filming experts as a solid resource. They are greener, far more cost effective, provide superior footage and options, unrestricted where creativity is concerned, and are far safer than traditional helicopter shots. They are about to become a valid option in the United States, and some leading edge firms are already available to do the work.
- FAA Mulls Granting Hollywood Studies a License to Drone. ThisIsIndexed.com. 2014. thisisindexed.com/