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anzel2002

Drones

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Have drones started to replace helicopters on medium to big size projects?  Has anyone here that works on medium to big size projects noticed anything like that happening?
Just curious, as I have been seeing some really great footage of drones lately on YouTube, so not a sound question but just curious?
Or are sound guys not on set on a day that they would be doing helicopter shots too? Curious about that too?

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I guess so Anzel with smaller budget jobs although the restrictions on places and altitudes are in place here to stop the cowboys.

Witnessed and amusing incident on a large budget Japanese shoot earlier this year.

A drone shot of a secret car on a country road was planned.

The wiz kids with the large drone turned up complete with their own ARRI Mini !

Oh ! they have not got the cable that allow the camera to shoot 4K only 2K

We were shooting with wonderful Panaflex anamorphic lenses but they did not format the camera card

so the the rushes were full of glitches and a re-shoot had to be hastily scheduled!

And yes Philip, drone time is coffee time for me!

Cheers

mike

Edited by mikewest
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I didn't know that not reformating a card could give glitches? Throw that camera away and use a real one please! There are enough Red Weapon around the globe in 6 or 8k flavour.  ;-)

The drone (as we know it today) due to it's lower weight will not replace an helicopter because of stability and speed nor a crane for the precision of the movement. It's just another tool to get other stuff right.

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*Most* of the stuff I have done with a drone, it's shooting scenics. Often the production, or somebody on the crew, has one that's there and they fly it if there's an opportunity. So, a different situation than a well organized helicopter Day.
Sometimes it's a super wide coverage of the scene, like I was on something recently for Nat Geo where they blew up a school bus. There's an obvious advantage to an unmanned drone getting high and wide shots of that.

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I am starting to see them in standard camera packages, especially since the Mavic Pro came out. It's small and easy to fly. They just opened a camera drone specialty store, in Brooklyn, so will probably be seeing more of them. They're mostly used for MOS, in my experience, also on House Hunters shoots, for ultra wide scenes,  where the dialog for the closeup is used.

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I have seen them a great deal over the last couple of years. They are now equipped with Arri Mini or RED of some variety. They get higher than a crane, for good production value, but are infinitely cheaper and safer than a helicopter. They also allow lower altitude tracking shots on shorter lenses without prop wash, etc. I think they are a great tool, if not overused.

I also love them because as previously mentioned, it gives me time to have some lovely coffee while it buzzes around. Not to mention the time it affords us to chat to each other while the nerds who own these things can't get them off the ground for the first couple of hours.

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I worked on an international doco with the cam assist flying his drone ( great shots!) and as I couldn't do sound while it was up I helped him set up ( ahhhh, my inner nerdiness!  )  He let me fly it as thanks, but boy did he generally pucker up when he thought I was heading straight for the mountain side!! 

We had problems getting his batteries through security occasionally due to their being odd shapes and sizes, so I made sure I got through ahead of him....

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