How to choose a drone hire company for your TV Shoot

If you’re looking to get incredible aerial shots for your next TV project, you’re probably already considering hiring a drone, or using a specialist drone filming company.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a drone hire company, so we’ve put together this guide to a typical drone shoot day, with the key things you can do to make sure the shoot runs smoothly.

Prepping your drone shoot

A typical TV drone shoot day can begin with a very early start. Those sunrise shots wait for no-one, after all! By choosing a professional drone hire company familiar with call sheet times, you can be sure everyone will be on set, on time, and ready to begin.

Communication is key

If you are hiring in a drone operator, you’ll need to be sure they understand the director’s creative vision for the drone shoot. A typical drone shoot day will begin with a meeting to discuss the key shots, and how your team are going to achieve them. Any reputable drone hire company will have already researched the shoot area, and will be aware of any challenges or safety restrictions which need to be considered too.

If workarounds are required, your drone operator should be able to recommend other filming techniques like jibs, gimbals or steadicam to achieve the shots you need.

Creative drone filming

Getting the perfect drone shot is about more than sending it up and hoping for the best! When choosing a drone filming partner, it is worth investing in a company who are able to offer not just the right technical equipment, but those who are able to understand the creative vision for your drone shoot.

Look for a drone company with a solid showreel of similar projects. Client testimonials are also a great way to be sure that your drone operators are skilled at collaborating with producers and directors, and are able to take creative direction. It’s still your shoot, after all.

Not all drones are equal

Time is precious on a shoot, so you need to be sure your drone operator has the right equipment. At Bakehouse Aerial, we use state of the art controls in-flight, along with programmable waypoints to track each shot when necessary. Our drones use real time monitoring, putting you as the client in full control.

When working a drone shoot, it’s important to consider the weather conditions too, as not all drones will suitable in challenging conditions. High winds, or wet weather can all mean delays. The best drone filming companies should be able to advise the most suitable equipment to use, and have a range of options available to ensure the best results.

The final footage

After each shot is captured, you should review the footage with your drone operator to make sure you have all the raw shots you need. Agree with your drone operator the procedure for handing over final footage and any backups required too. If there is any agreed post-production required, it helps to be clear on any timings agreed for final sign off here too.

By choosing only experienced and reputable drone hire companies, you can be sure your drone operator is familiar with each of the steps in a drone shoot above, and there will be no nasty hidden surprises on your shoot day.

To take a look at how we planned and completed a major TV shoot for BBC4 recently, have a look at our Ferrybridge Power Station project case study here (*add link) , or get in touch directly to discuss how we can help you plan your next TV drone filming project.

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