“Get your Part 107 License, and get in on the ground floor of this expanding market!”
Drones have been the new gold rush, and tho I feel it’s definitely waning, There’s still this prevailing myth in the UAV market that drones are so easy that you can buy one and go out and immediately go out and get great shots. DJI is selling millions of them with this fallacy. I actually sold my first one to a guy who wanted me to teach him how to fly it so he could get a simple shot 4 days later. I’ll give you one guess as to how that went. I was at the local “Drones R’ Us” last week and in the 15 minutes I was there I saw one smashed Phantom on the counter and a guy came in who had bought one the day prior needing repairs. There seemed to be an urgency to get these aeronautical carcasses out of site quickly. Look at it this way, the cheapest you can get decent footage is with a Phantom and a GoPro. So now you’re out there with a minimum of $1500 up in the air, and putting any “real” camera up there things get more expensive exponentially. Unless you have an endless budget and lots of time to dedicate to learning how to do it, really think this thru.
When you would hire a professional just to be a camera operator on the ground, how on earth could you possibly think that it could be easy to have one 400 feet in the air. And while having a GPS guided aircraft makes controlling it much easier, I can assure you from my experience that you will have a steep and costly learning curve. Not only that, there is technique to it and I arrive at larger jobs with a back up and am insured. Yes, you can put it up in the air to get broad views, but when you have to have it track an object while avoiding obstacles, nothing but experience and nerve will suffice. You’d be surprised how inaccurate your depth perception is. I work with a director using my experience to help him achieve his vision. And think of this; A craft controlled by an invisible radio signal is not an absolute given. Trust me, even with experience you will crash and drones do malfunction and disappear without notice. I just spent $500 and 3 weeks rebuilding my Align M480, because it just decided to flip. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t flip it, yet mine did a header without notice. Neither Align or Futaba could tell me what happened. They just gave me discounts and were very nice about it. The industry is making lot’s of money, and until the FAA regulates this industry, or something catastrophic happens, they will continue to do so. Though I don’t think it will be long. DJI sold 25,000 Phantoms in December of 2016. I’m betting a large percentage are in pieces.
So, if your production matters to you. Hire a professional. Production time costs way too much, and if something DOES happen, not only will you not get the shot you wanted, now you have a potential liability on your hands. I’ll make sure you get a shot you’re happy with, and no one will shoot their eye out!