Written by on Sep 26, 2014. Posted in On Location

New ruling allows six US production companies to film with unmanned drones

A new ruling in the US has allowed six production companies to use unmanned drones for commercial filming purposes in American airspace. Officially referred to as unmanned aircraft systems, the drones can be used by these companies with far fewer restrictions.

Unmanned aircraft systems are already routinely used for aerial filming in the international production industry. Often designed as small remote-controlled helicopters with attached camera rigs, the devices are seen as a cheaper, safer and more flexible way of filming aerial footage. The alternative usually involves a bulky stabilised camera rig mounted on a helicopter.

“Today’s announcement is a victory for audiences everywhere as it gives filmmakers yet another way to push creative boundaries and create the kinds of scenes and shots we could only imagine just a few years ago,” said Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.

“Our industry has a history of successfully using this innovative technology overseas – making movies like Skyfall and Transformers: Age of Extinction, to name a couple – and we are proud to now be on the leading edge of its safe commercial use here at home.”

Commented Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAS use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight. These companies are blazing a trail that others are already following, offering the promise of new advances in agriculture and utility safety and maintenance.”

The six US companies that can now use drones specifically requested permission. Thorough checks will have to be made on the devices before each flight - probably something that was already being done - and after-dark shooting will still be prohibited.

Productions making use of camera drones internationally have included an advertising campaign for Japanese contact lens company Miru, which developed an innovative unmanned camera rig for a shoot in Portugal. Corey Rich Productions used remote-controlled helicopters for a climbing expedition in Pakistan and a similar OctoCopter unit captured dynamic aerial footage in Manila for the music video for the Rudimental track Not Giving In.

(Main page image: Cloud 12 Ltd; Pakistan drone image: Corey Rich Productions)

Related Posts


Not Logged in

You must be logged in to post a comment

    There are no comments