Drone filming a flashmob event in Belper.

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Filming an event in a public space is always challenging, and as this was in a high street in the middle of a small town, there were a number of points I needed to be aware of:

  • Number of people involved
  • Airspace regulations
  • Proximity to railway line
  • Proximity to public
  • Landing and take-off points
  • Emergency holding position
  • Emergency landing position
  • Aircraft incursion
  • Power-lines and other restrictions
  • Flight time
  • Notifying authorities
  • Field of view

Working with Derby County Council, Big Ant Video and the organisers of the dancers we knew how many people would attend and this was less than 1000 persons total, so we knew we could fly at 50M.

Talking with Steve from Big Ant Video, I knew the final output of the film would be 1080p, so this meant that shooting at 4K UHD the footage could be zoomed into without losing resolution, so it would be as if I had filmed from 25M.  Steve would also be able to zoom in post which would add a more dynamic feel to the footage.  I also found out that the duration of the Flashmob was to be no longer than 5 minutes, so a single battery would give sufficient power for this shoot.

I am a firm believer in Go Look See, so I took the time to visit the proposed site in Belper for the Flashmob, and established it wasn’t in regulated air-space, located take-off and landing points to enable the correct field of view for the final video.  I also spoke to Derbyshire Police and British Transport Police to make them aware of what was taking place, so there were no surprises on the day.

On the actual day of the filming, everything went as planned – we got the footage we all needed, and thankfully the weather held…. just!





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