Tips to Take Your Drone Aerial Filming International

Perks of a Professional Drone Aerial Team


One of the best perks of being a professional aerial team is the travel. It is not uncommon to be in the garage on Saturday tuning up your gear or looking over some footage and the next thing you know you get a phone call that puts you in some exotic location you thought you would never be. Here at Drones Of Prey, we want your trip to be a successful one so here are some tips for  drone aerial filming internationally.


Tips to Taking Your Drone Business International


1. Preparation – When shooting overseas remembering all of your gear and packing up all safe and sound is only the beginning. Definitely create a check list and check it twice. Then, check it two more times. There is nothing worse than arriving on set 5,000 miles away from home and realizing your filter kit is on the kitchen table back home.


2. Know your location – Research the place where you are going. It doesn’t take that long to do and can prevent major problems. Something as simple as bad wiring in a hotel room in Kamalame Cay can cause your charger to dump and now what do you do? Always know what you are in for and do your best to be prepared for it.


3. Aerial Photography requires a lot of gear – Especially when traveling overseas, you just can’t get away with one rig. You have to have backups and backups for your backups. Many locations we have shot over the years have nothing whatsoever to offer for parts. Never put yourself in a position where you show up on set with one rig and have to explain to your client that you cannot continue aerial shooting because you lost a motor on the drone and you don’t have a spare. You may not be able to bring your kitchen sink, but if you could, you should.


4. Carnet – Now that you got all your gear packed up and ready to go, do you have your Carnet? A carnet allows you to get your gear in and out of customs with fewer problems. A Carnet is good for a year and it will cost you a couple hundred bucks. It’s well worth it. So gather up those serial numbers and get them all documented. Get to the airport a couple hours early and head to customs. Trust me, you don’t want to leave without it if you are headed to a Carnet country. Last I checked, about 75 countries use carnet.


5. A fixer is a must – GPS on your smart phone isn’t going to cut it. Most of the international destinations we have visited have far less concern for addresses let alone accuracy of addresses. If you are lucky, a fixer has been provided for you. If not, seriously consider hiring one. They know all of the ins and outs of the locale where you will be shooting. They will also be familiar with local customs, laws and surrounding locations. Flying drones attract a lot of attention and having someone there to help with the locals can be very handy. Fixers also have connections and may be able to help in a tight situation. At the very least, they can hook you up with some great local grub.


6. Enjoy Island time! – So it’s the middle of the day and your team is running a little ahead of schedule. Stopping for a nice lunch overlooking the ocean in St.Croix is an awesome idea. Be aware while traveling in the Caribbean, the nice folks who work at those restaurants are in no hurry EVER! You better plan to be there a while and plan accordingly.


Traveling for work definitely is on the top of my list of favorite things about shooting drone aerial photography. While it can be very challenging, a little planning before the trip will go a very, very long way in the field. Safe travels!


Written By Doug Bell

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