What to Look for When Hiring a Drone Company
Hiring a drone rental company doesn't have to be a complicated process, but there are a ton of people trying to pass themselves off as drone professionals claiming decades of "combined experience" and you have to weed your way through them. Multirotors or drones as they are now commonly called are, for the most part easy to fly. I can't count how many times I have heard people say, even very experienced operators: Drones are easy to fly, you don't need ex professional R/C (remote control) pilots to do high level aerial filming anymore. To do basic filming...no. To do it safely and be able to handle emergency situations in the event of an equipment failure, absolutely you need someone with a lot of experience. To do complicated shots, long distance shots, shots where the drone is going to be hard to see because of mountains in the background, high speed at very low altitude shots, operating near obstacles and Talent; you can't have a drone pilot and camera mount operator with too much experience. We have done work for a lot of production companies that have used drone rental companies that claimed "decades of combined experience", but they weren't able to get the shots that production needed or they wound up crashing on set causing major safety issues. We also loose a lot of work to drone rental companies who will do work for really cheap rates and again production, nine times out of ten, doesn't get what they need and they wind up wasting time and money. When it comes to drone rental companies, you really do get what you pay for. Drone services companies that have been around for years should have several demo reels and finished client projects on their site for you to view. If not move on. Chances are if they don't have a shot very similar to what you need for your production, they probably can't get that shot safely if they can even get it period. They should have a back up drone and camera mount as these things are mostly electronic and things will fail occasionally. Do they have their FAA 333 Exemption or Part 107. If they do not have either of these their insurance, if they have any is totally useless. Regarding insurance, if the PIC (Pilot in command) does anything illegal with the drone and something happens, their insurance is null and void. There are a lot of operators doing a lot of illegal stuff with drones. Hopefully this info will help some of you wishing to hire a drone rental company.
HeliCam's Atlanta Office is Now Open as of March
Check out HeliCam's 2016 Demo Reel.
Edit: I have changed this video to a Youtube video to enable you to see it in 4K.
Some of HeliCam's Cooler 2016 Projects
THIS JUST IN
Check out the cool Audi A4 Allroad commercial that we worked on in Concord, NC.
It was by far the dirtiest shoot that we have ever been on. We were choking on dirt all day basically, but it was a ton of fun minus the searing heat. I have to give a hand out to our camera man Antwan Flowers who weathered the sweaty dirt bath like a true professional. HeliCam's drone also managed the heat and dirt with ease as did the Alexa Mini.
In May HeliCam shot some aerial video with our drones for a new TV Series for FX Network starring Donald Glover, Danny Glover's son, called Atlanta.
In August HeliCam worked on a new TV Series called "Ink, Paper, Scissors" which featured Atlanta's Salon Ramsey and will air on BET.
In September HeliCam was fortunate to get to do some drone aerial video on a really cool Audi shoot in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA with a bunch of great people. My camera man and I offered to forego our normal day rates for a couple Audi R8s, but we never heard back on our proposition.
In early July HeliCam got the opportunity to fly the new Nokia Ozo VR camera. What an impressive piece of equipment. I am currently working on a new camera mount system to maximize the potential of the Ozo. Last year we flew a GoPro based VR rig that was customized to work with the DJI Ronin gimbal in Maui, HI. Things have come a long way since then. It is amazing that the video stream from all eight cameras are written to one memory card. I can't say enough about Able Cine as well. They sent the Ozo Tech Ben out to make sure that we got the most from the Ozo. Actually I think that Ben comes with the daily rental package.
MOST EXCITING DRONE AERIAL VIDEO PROJECTS FOR 2015
To watch the videos in full screen mode simply click on the video to get it started playing and then double click on the video. Once in full screen mode you can choose to watch it at YouTube if you like.
Check out one of HeliCam's latest projects with Adidas and Morgan Brian shot with an Epic at 20mm
HELICAM'S 2015 AND BEYOND
2015 was a great year! HeliCam was privileged to get to provide the aerial cinematography for two feature films; A Walk In the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and an India based film called Subramanyam For Sale which was a remake of an old musical. Examples of both movies can be seen in our "Reels" or the movie trailers above. Getting to work with Nascar's own Kurt Busch in his new Monster Energy commercial was a real treat. Great guy to work with. The shoot at Dynamic Aviation was a blast although a little nerve racking working around some very expensive and old aircraft. Who knew working on a big shoot for Furniture Land South could be so much fun. We got to do some hand held stuff with our Movi M5 plus a lot of great aerial shots. To cap off the year we got to do some work for Chubb Insurance for their charity golf event held this year in Pinehurst, NC. The weather wasn't great, but the rain held off and we got to do some filming on one of the most prestigious golf courses in the US, Pinehurst number 2 and number 8.
HeliCam Aerial Media Services, LLC has a drone aerial video office in Atlanta, GA and one in Greensboro, NC, but shooting aerial video with our Drones has taken us to exciting shoot locations like; Los Angeles CA, Savannah GA, Wilmington NC, Orlando FL, Omaha NE, Dallas TX, New Orleans LA, Charlotte NC, Jackson MS, Vancouver and Montreal Canada, New York City NY, Palm Springs CA, Atlanta GA, Maui, Kona and Hilo Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Seattle WA, Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo just to name a few.
HELICAM'S PHILOSOPHY IS SIMPLE
Create the highest quality aerial video and photos possible while operating in a safe manner. If HeliCam does it's job to their full potential, the Client will be ecstatic at the end of the shoot and that, to us, is what makes the years of learning and growing to try and perfect our craft worth while. Working this philosophy has gotten HeliCam a ton of referrals and repeat business, which is great advertising.