Multirotor Movie Making

by FliteTest | October 3, 2013 | (15) Posted in Projects

We had a chance to help out on a short film recently, shooting aerial video with our multirotors.

The location was Glamorgan Castle in Alliance, Ohio.

The film is called "The Invitation", written by Matt Roseti and Directed by Ryan Galbraith.

Jeremy Davis helped direct Chad as they both watched the FPV view from the multirotor.

 Chad was flying his AnyCopter setup in a Hex configuration.

You can find out more details about this short film HERE. 

We'd like to thank Jeremy Davis and everyone on the crew for giving us the chance to help out and be involved in this project!  We look forward to seeing the final release!

COMMENTS

cyberiarvo on October 3, 2013
Hi guys! What fc your using on that tricopter? Amp 2.5? Is it good?
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aidan284 on October 3, 2013
Its Naza on the Hex and APM 2.5 on the tri. I know that Josh B loves the APM, so it must be good.
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cyberiarvo on October 3, 2013
I hope they can make tutorial on setting up APM 2.5 on Tricopter
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oneiwily on October 3, 2013
I don't know if it's possible to have a backup battery, a small 500mamp that gives you those precious seconds if you have a faulty battery or any other problem with power supply.
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sailorJohn on October 3, 2013
Back in the day when tv cameras and mounts (pedestals) weighed 100's of lbs we used terms like pan, tilt, and pedestal up ,down, right, left , now it sounds like you will have to come up a new set of director terms. ( 60's Lowery CCTV)
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sailorJohn on October 3, 2013
Cheaper than renting a cherry picker!
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Cyberdactyl on October 3, 2013
You guys had your lowV alarm set WAAAAY too low.
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JustinTime on October 3, 2013
I agree. I have mine set at 3.5V (per cell). When the alarm goes off I have plenty of 'juice' left to get home safely.
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RCDutcher on October 3, 2013
can you guys make or put a list togehter of how to make a good gimbal?
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santiago404 on October 3, 2013
Its nice to see how things work behind the camera, in a movie. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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ichelo on October 3, 2013
Could you provide some information on how you are able to do this legally (the shoot in the video, and flite test in general would at this point count as a commercial application?)?

Specifically pertaining to did you obtain a commercial unmanned aerial system license from the faa?
http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/uas_faq/#Qn4
http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/uas_faq/#Qn7

Also since the use of Amateur television (fpv) is covered by fcc part 97 for individual use, what license(s) are you using for your commercial application ?
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onemoreflite (John Michaels) on October 3, 2013
hey, i thought you got sent home yesterday since the budget bill didn't pass...
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Buckeyegator on October 3, 2013
Did anyone mention fees or the transfer of money for this? I don't think so. Sounded like an unfunded project that FliteTest was willing to donate time and labor to. No actual transactions took place?
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ichelo on October 3, 2013
Flite test being paid doesn't make any difference, the movie they are doing the flight for is a commercial/business project (they have a kickstarter where they pre-sold copies of the video). So the purpose of the flight would be a "business purpose", and
http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/media/frnotice_uas.pdf

"The current FAA policy for UAS operations is that no person may operate a UAS in the National Airspace System without specific authority. For UAS operating as public aircraft the authority is the COA, for UAS operating as civil aircraft the authority is special airworthiness certificates, and for model aircraft the authority is AC 91-57.
The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of 6AC 91-57. AC 91-57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes"
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RCNewb on October 3, 2013
What I have generally heard is that you can donate your time, which I assume was what FliteTest was doing. They likely received no compensation for the video itself.

When individuals use their multi-rotors for commercial applications, like making a movie, the footage itself is "donated" because they enjoy the hobby. The only time you pay for is the time they spent editing the footage.

Least that is what I heard.
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ichelo on October 3, 2013
While that is commonly repeated, I see no provision in the FAA's rules that payment is at all a factor, it specifically deals with the purpose of the flight, and it very plainly says that if it is for a business purpose (doing footage for a movie, regardless if you get paid) you would not be legally operating under the exemption for modelers.

IANAL but trying to say that they just happened to be recreationally flying at the movie set, and just happened to be flying the exact way the movie directors wanted, to get the perfect shot to donate, so their flight falls under AC 91-57 sound like a pretty weak defense...
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FLYitRC on October 3, 2013
That's like saying you need to go buy a business license to mow your neighbors lawn for free... because you are doing "work" that other actual businesses do. No i voluntarily cut my neighbors lawn, they get the benefits of it. same situation here. Flitetest can say that had an oportunity to Film a movie in progress, then Donate the film to the movie.

It has EVERYTHING to do with if you are paid or not. if you run around fixing peoples cars for free you are not a business, if you take funds for your work THEN its a business...
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ichelo on October 4, 2013
Your analogy is missing the commercial aspect of at least 1 party.
If you neighbor had a lawn mowing business, and he had a large project that he needed help with. And you took your lawn mower and helped with that project for free, would the work that you did be business related? Yes, because the reason you are there and the work you are doing is because of your neighbor's business. It has nothing to do with if you are being paid because the work you are doing is for a business project, and all of your examples are ignoring that aspect to this.

If you go to a garage, and work on some cars for free, you did commercial work, because again the reason you are at the garage doing the work is for business reasons, the garage is getting paid for the work that you did (just like in the video, where they are selling/sold copies of the movie)

The situation here is doing work for a business project, and the faa regulation is very plainly worded "specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes". Why do you think they specifically mentioned "persons"? It covers your situation of a person volunteering their time for a business purpose (shooting a movie)
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bstanley72 on October 15, 2013
By this rational FliteTest would be breaking the law anytime they shoot video via aircraft for their show. They accept advertising, sell products etc. so it is a commercial enterprise.

Instead of being annoying and up their grill about it, how about we continue to enjoy this fine place on the internet they have created?

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RCNewb on October 4, 2013
I think the real issue here is that the FAA has utterly failed at doing their job. Instead of creating useful, temporary rules to address the situation, they simply said "don't do it" until they can come up with new rules in 2015, and they only have that date because Congress is forcing them to comply.

Given your loose definition of business purposes, the FAA should file an injunction against Google. After all, they are the ones providing a platform for the footage AND profiting from it via ad revenue.
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onemoreflite (John Michaels) on October 3, 2013
Wow, you must have a lot of time on your hands on furlough...
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ichelo on October 3, 2013
Sorry, I do not work for the federal government. These laws/regulations are easy to find so not that time consuming...
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Cyberdactyl on October 3, 2013
I agree, and caught a crapload of flac from the fansboy hoard in the Youtube comments.

Plus this is the SECOND time I've seen Flitetest get into trouble from a bad battery and/or setting the lowV alarm dangerously low.

You would think they would learn from their mistakes.

They are stellar RC hobbyists at times, and others I just shake my head.
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Nighthawk789 on October 4, 2013
Can there be a build video on the hexacopter? Or can someone write a list of parts I need?
The footage looks really good...
NH789

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Crashpilot1000 on October 4, 2013
Flying on those Lipobuzzers is plainly stupid. So no sorry for that crash.
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stonekap on October 5, 2013
The services we provided for this short film were donated. Jeremy is a friend and fellow hobbyist. Just like all of our projects... we were out having fun and sharing it with our viewers.

The battery was fully charged and only lasted about 25% of a normal battery. The low voltage alarm was set to 10.6V and "normally" gives me about 90 seconds to land. In this case it was less than 10 seconds. It was a bad battery that´╗┐ got thrown in the mix... I blame David ;)

Fortunately we were choosing flight paths that allowed us to bail without putting anyone in danger.
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Multirotor Movie Making