Move over crane! Since 2013, the affordability multi-rotor aircraft has made shooting aerial footage easier for low budget filmmakers.
Since January of this year, Finding Family crew member Grant Boling has been delving into shooting with a drone. Grant started practicing with a toy drone. Although the toy drones are harder to control, crashes aren’t as devastating. “It’s lot less sad when a $40 drone gets stuck in a tree than if you can't find your $1000 drone.” says Grant.
Starting with a toy drone also allowed Grant to get a handle on judging distances and working with wind affects. In addition, most toy drones are small enough (< 0.5lb) that they don’t have to be registered with the FAA, allowing Grant to immediately get to work.
Grant knew that if he wanted to work with drones professionally (such as using a drone on a feature film shoot!) he needed to familiarize himself with the FAA website. If a drone operator does not follow the FAA regulations, they could be liable for hefty fines and/or damage to people or property. It’s also important to know that there are regulations against flying in National Parks. For a list of FAA drone rules see FAA Regulations
On a personal note, Grant suggests that drone operators be respectful when flying and not spy or fly over other people who are not working on your project. Needless say, spying on your neighbors is just uncool!
For anyone interested in racing, here’s a link to a the new youtube drone racing channel! DroneRacing