by Charlotte Moss Published 01/10/2016
Drones are the current go-to toys for boys, but have started to make serious inroads into film-making at all levels. Once the preserve of highbudget film sets, the drone has jumped from the military right down to the consumer, bringing with it a number of ethical and legislative issues.
Drones have had something of a bad press with the red-tops but the exaggerated stories sell more newsprint and so the reality is probably a little different. The legal stuff is quite simple - if you wish to fly a drone for money you have to be in possession of a valid PFAW (Permission For Aerial Work). Getting hold of the certificate requires jumping through quite a few hoops and an outlay of around £2,000, excluding the cost of equipment and insurance. Even with your PFAW, you are still highly regulated in terms of height flown and distances from both people and buildings and so on.
Despite these regulations the use of drones is expanding. By way of example we recently received Professional Photo and its sister publication Pro Moviemaker. The latter is 26 pages thicker and a significant chunk of the editorial content is dedicated to drones.
Drones have found their way into almost every corner of film-making including weddings, architectural surveys, fashion shoots, sports events (there were quite a lot in the skies of Rio at various venues) and general commercial photography. Illegal use is also rising at quite a rate; the number of HMPS prison drone-related incidents was 22 last year but October 2015 saw a three-fold increase over all previous months - DHL are seemingly not the only people anxious to deliver drugs by drone!
Such is the maturity of the technology that it has even started to spin off into other areas and so in this feature we are taking a look at the DJI Osmo which de-couples the drone gimbal technology and puts it into the hands of the grounded film maker. We also include some of the recent projects undertaken by member Paul McMullin, a pre-Convention note from David Burlison and Charlotte interviews member, Tim Wilde.
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