Date two on the video shoot was rather interesting. I learned a ton and also realize that I need to go with my gut more so than ignoring it. While day one was a bit hectic once we stepped foot on the production shoot for day two all those concerns when away. I’ll go ahead and jump right into the items that I learned and hopefully you’ll learn something as well.
Typical Pittsburgh fashion we ran into a major issue with weather. I quickly realized not having a second set of clothes was a major issue, especially since it was an hour drive from the shoot to my house. We were just finishing up the first round of shots that we needed to get when a huge storm rolled in. The very last take it started to sprinkle and I brought the drone down to start packing up. The sky opened up and emptied out every last drop of rain that it possibly could on us. I’ll go into further detail below, but needless to say not only did I get wet but a kind of equipment got ruined as well.
Given that a huge storm rolled in, had we had a huge golf style umbrella I may have been able to salvage my equipment from being ruined. One small piece of advice, pay attention to the environment of the area that you are filming in and be prepared. Always better to have too many items than not have enough and lose $8000 worth of equipment. Luckily we have insurance, which you should always have!
My Car, My People
This one’s a little long, so I’ll try to shorten it up and get straight to the point. One of the coproducers asked my wife to drive our vehicle into the shot we were filming. Two executive producers were in my vehicle as it was starting to rain. Once the last take finished, the transportation van came around to scoop everyone else up while we were packing our stuff in our vehicle. This is where the issue arose. My wife and our vehicle were commandeered to drive one of the executive producers to the other location versus her getting into the transportation van with everyone else. So the transportation then left with everyone else my wife and my vehicle left with the one executive producer in my camera operator and I were left out in the rain. Now when I say rain I mean every raindrop in North America collectively came into one location and dumped it all directly on top of us. So picture this, two dudes out in the middle of the parking lot with $8000 worth of high-end drone equipment with no shirt on trying to cover anything we could. Obviously, this did nothing. Once my wife arrived back to us we loaded up all of our waterlogged equipment. I went back and spoke with the assistant director and producer let him know that I was done for the day. The storm was so bad that what would normally have taken us 45 minutes to get home, was a two hour trip due to high levels of traffic. Eventually, we made it home I let the equipment dry out and determine that everything was completely ruined.
Faster Memory Cards
While shooting on day one we notice that every once in a while on our monitors we would see the video feed appear as if there was some type of heat wave disrupting it. At first we kind of just pushed it off to the side and blamed it on the 90° weather and filming on the blacktop. Luckily for us, all of the areas that were affected were non-usable footage and the good stuff was not touched. That evening when I got home I did a little more research and come to find out that the memory cards we were using were not high enough class memory cards. What that basically means is that the cards were not able to produce and transfer the 4K footage fast enough to keep up with the filming. That evening I purchased a bunch of class ten memory cards and then we were good to go. What could’ve been a major issue by ruined footage from day one luckily was not affected and we were able to continue.
I am the President of AerdiA and lead remote pilot in charge (LRPIC).