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Aerial Cinematography - A Race to the Bottom?

rmb

Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
145
Age
61
Location
Albany NY Area
Website
overexposures.net
In an attempt to expand my business base, I registered my services with one of the many "Drone Classifieds" sites out there. Over the course of 18 months I have never been choosen for a gig as my bare minimum to go out as a fully insured 107 pilot has always been 2-3 times more than any of these niave folks want to pay.

You can't blame them, there are obviously people standing in line to break the law and or work for penuts. This is but 1 example of what I get in my inbox every few days.
Curious how many of you would concider this the new norm and/or would take this job?

droners_logo_dark_no_subheader.png

A NEW JOB MATCHING YOUR CRITERIA HAS BEEN POSTED

Noah Kahn
Music Video: Car Race Scene
Description:
For a scene of a music video we plan to produce, we need a drone to fly in-between to glass office buildings about 60 ft. in the air to one side of the sidewalk follow tracking a car drive in-between them for only about 2-3 seconds of footage. Stationary camera, drone moves forward. Drone camera will need to be 360 degrees to capture vertical angle from right side of road in the air and track car on road. Planned shoot is for either Saturday or Sunday September 1st and 2nd, early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid cars or possible pedestrians in the roads and below. Civilians below drone is possible, maybe 1 every ten minutes. We are aware it is illegal to fly over people, although the chances of people are very slim if not 1 once in a while. We do not have a drone license or insurance, neither production or film insurance which is why we would li ke to inform you on this matter and see what you can make work. We have not rented out the road either but cars come rarely. We will produce the final edit, we only need a professional drone pilot for those few seconds, one that can fly professionally and safely near buildings to lower risk of crash. 1920 x 1080 or 4k is fine. All we really need is 1920 x 1080 and we plan to shoot in Raw with a low shutter speed frame rate. We wish to create as much motion blur as possible because the road we are on is only about 150 feet long around, and the car will be driving slow, so to make seem as if actually going fast we will speed up in edit. As of now we plan on spending 100-300$ per hour, but are willing to work with you on a different budget. Thanks

Service: Cinematography
Budget: $300.00
Specific Date: Not Specified
Pilots Need: One
Job Type: One Off
Location: Bridge Street, Newark, NJ
 
I wonder like the wedding sites and others jut how genuine these enquiries actually are ?
As a now retired photographer with 40 odd years experience I never really got any meaningful work from these sort of sites. Nothing beats pounding the pavements (sidewalks) and door knocking to get work that actually pays properly..
It might not get instant work , although that does happen, but the seeds sown often grow to fruition later I found.
 
I wouldn’t work with them. They seem very unprofessional. They should have a permit to do that at least.
 
In an attempt to expand my business base, I registered my services with one of the many "Drone Classifieds" sites out there. Over the course of 18 months I have never been choosen for a gig as my bare minimum to go out as a fully insured 107 pilot has always been 2-3 times more than any of these niave folks want to pay.

You can't blame them, there are obviously people standing in line to break the law and or work for penuts. This is but 1 example of what I get in my inbox every few days.
Curious how many of you would concider this the new norm and/or would take this job?

droners_logo_dark_no_subheader.png

A NEW JOB MATCHING YOUR CRITERIA HAS BEEN POSTED

Noah Kahn
Music Video: Car Race Scene
Description:
For a scene of a music video we plan to produce, we need a drone to fly in-between to glass office buildings about 60 ft. in the air to one side of the sidewalk follow tracking a car drive in-between them for only about 2-3 seconds of footage. Stationary camera, drone moves forward. Drone camera will need to be 360 degrees to capture vertical angle from right side of road in the air and track car on road. Planned shoot is for either Saturday or Sunday September 1st and 2nd, early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid cars or possible pedestrians in the roads and below. Civilians below drone is possible, maybe 1 every ten minutes. We are aware it is illegal to fly over people, although the chances of people are very slim if not 1 once in a while. We do not have a drone license or insurance, neither production or film insurance which is why we would li ke to inform you on this matter and see what you can make work. We have not rented out the road either but cars come rarely. We will produce the final edit, we only need a professional drone pilot for those few seconds, one that can fly professionally and safely near buildings to lower risk of crash. 1920 x 1080 or 4k is fine. All we really need is 1920 x 1080 and we plan to shoot in Raw with a low shutter speed frame rate. We wish to create as much motion blur as possible because the road we are on is only about 150 feet long around, and the car will be driving slow, so to make seem as if actually going fast we will speed up in edit. As of now we plan on spending 100-300$ per hour, but are willing to work with you on a different budget. Thanks

Service: Cinematography
Budget: $300.00
Specific Date: Not Specified
Pilots Need: One
Job Type: One Off
Location: Bridge Street, Newark, NJ

Show up with a Mavic Pro and shoot it. If it's a closed set (probably not), the permits required for such an endeavor is off the charts, so $300 is a joke.

This is why a lot of guys shoot rogue. When given a choice of remaining compliant and making zero money, or breaking compliance and actually making a living, most folks will choose the latter. Maybe .01% of drone pilots can do both...usually because they're born into the film industry or were a production company to begin with. Most folks aren't that lucky.

Good luck.
 
I've tried different things to get business, but at the end of the day, it's word of mouth that has worked the best. I shot part of a short film for almost free. I had about 30 hours invested in the entire project - much of which was just me being overly prepared. Since then, I have had several offers from film crews big and small due to this one gig. Once a group that shoots video professionally finds someone they want to work with, they tend to keep calling - at least that's my experience.

That being said, I never got into this to make money. That just seemed like the next step after getting my Part 107. Honestly, getting paid kinda takes some of the fun out of it for me.
 
I've tried different things to get business, but at the end of the day, it's word of mouth that has worked the best. I shot part of a short film for almost free. I had about 30 hours invested in the entire project - much of which was just me being overly prepared. Since then, I have had several offers from film crews big and small due to this one gig. Once a group that shoots video professionally finds someone they want to work with, they tend to keep calling - at least that's my experience.

That being said, I never got into this to make money. That just seemed like the next step after getting my Part 107. Honestly, getting paid kinda takes some of the fun out of it for me.
A Man after my own heart. I feel the same. My favorite days flying are the ones when no one is looking over your should or making rediculous requests. As for me, since I am already a video Producer, Director, Editor type, with my own client base it is easy to use the platform as just another tool. Pull it out, get a couple of nice shots to raise the production value of the shoot, tact on $500 somewhere in the budget and move on.
 
I'm struggling to get £300 over here in England. For a 2 minute property video shot on site utilising aerial shots (all legal) as well has ground-based shots as well as a shorter edit, all set to licenced music, colour graded, titles etc. estate agents or 'realtors' are turning their nose up at £350- One guy wanted to pay £150- max..... so, so tough....
 
I'm struggling to get £300 over here in England. For a 2 minute property video shot on site utilising aerial shots (all legal) as well has ground-based shots as well as a shorter edit, all set to licenced music, colour graded, titles etc. estate agents or 'realtors' are turning their nose up at £350- One guy wanted to pay £150- max..... so, so tough....

Same here.

Whilst £300 for a days work might sound ok, the reality is that with equipment depreciation, insurance, travel, PfCO costs, general business overheads, etc. it won’t support a sustainable business.

These kind of costs are fine for the ‘i’ve got a drone’ chancers but they are not sufficient to support the safe, qualified, insured & legal operators running decent equipment with real flying and video skills.
 

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