Notes on Filming With Drones

Below are a few notes from a recent presentation by California Drone Supply at Scratch Media for SD Media Pros. An important note is that the FAA is updating rules and requirements for drone pilots.

Filming with drones
Filming with drones, SD Media Pros with CA Drone Supply at Scratch Media.

Typical Filming with Drones Timeframes

As with any system the amount of time required varies based on the complexity of the project.

  • 1 hr setup
  • 2-3 min for a test run
  • 15 min fly time (with 30% battery buffer to land safely) 1 hr to charge a battery

Elements of Filming with Drones

  • Crew: Pilot, Camera Operator, Visual Monitor (PA who maintains visual on drone), Equipment/Aid Aid
  • Sight survey, create a map of obstacles, how to maintain line of sight
  • Layout flight-path
  • File paperwork with local flight control and necessary organisations and obtain certificate of authorization

Legal Considerations

  • FAA requires a licensed pilot to operate the drone
  • Stay below 400′ for non-commercial work
  • The drone can’t take off or land in a National Park, but it can fly in, photograph and fly out
  • Drone company usually has insurance for general liability, comprehensive (gear), and crash liability

Filming with Drone Links

O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design

O’Connell Design is a creative studio dedicated to film and motion, game cinematics, and engaging visuals. For more information on our studio and to view our portfolio go to