So we arrive on set for day three. As to be expected the atmosphere is running high and full of energy. Day three ended up being the worst day out of all three as we didn’t end up getting any footage at all. If you recall from day to the heavens above opened up and emptied all of the raindrops of North America upon us. Once I got home and was able to dry the equipment out, I determined that all of the equipment was ruined. A quick conversation with the producer and he agreed to replace the equipment as it was not our fault and that put me into overdrive to get a new drone kit on my doorstep for day three. Luckily for me, a good friend and owner of Drone Works helped me out. There was a one-day break between the shooting on day two and the shooting for day three. So the morning of our day off Zac from Drone Works was able to overnight me a new drone kit to be delivered on the morning of day three. The only thing I didn’t plan for was additional weather fronts coming through and hitting Kentucky which is the main hub for FedEx and UPS. So the $300 fee that I paid to have the kit overnighted to me by 10:30 AM was useless. See these sneaky logistic companies put in their terms of service that if there is an act of God and they can’t meet the delivered time it’s not their fault, and you don’t get a refund. Luckily for me, I was able to get someone on the phone who in turn was able to reach out to the delivery driver and determined that my package would be to me by 11:30 AM. Unfortunately when it arrived at 1130 and I had to get on the road to head to the production shoot UPS had not yet delivered the rest of my batteries. Luckily I had two sets in the kit and we could make it work if we had to.
New Products will Screw You Over
We arrive on site about 12:15 PM just in time for a quick bite to eat and go over some of the schedules for the day. We begin to set everything up to include on packaging for the first time the brand-new drone kit. I put on the new camera and fire up the DJI go app only to see errors left and right. Few of the items I was able to rectify, but the main error was a “Camera Sensor Error.” Immediately I get on the phone with DJI tech support, and they tell me that I need to go ahead and read load the firmware via assistant 2. Well, let me save you a whole lot of time and let you know that did absolutely nothing. After about an hour’s worth of headaches, one of the grips came over and let me know that he had the exact syndrome kit in his car. Holy cow problem solved! He told me he would rent it to me and we could get on with the filming. A quick jog over to the producer to make sure he was on board with renting the equipment as they would have to pay. He agreed, we went back got everything set up in typical Pittsburgh fashion the weather rolled right back in.
Prepare for Weather
I thought the weather from day two was crazy but day three was even more insane. Not only did we not get to shoot anything but we had to scramble to put everything away and a matter of minutes to ensure that we didn’t run into the same issue we had one day two. This time we focus completely only on our needs and what we had to do to make sure that we were safe and nothing got ruined.
Done or Not Done
At the end of day three, we were told that we were going to be finished with all the drone shots as they didn’t have enough money to rework everything that was missed due to the weather. Not a problem at this point my stress level was through the roof and I was ready to relax a bit. Sunday evening we got a call that they wanted us to come back on Monday for the fourth day of shooting. Well, that went back and forth for a while, but that never ended up happening, and we wrapped after that.
At this point, I’m sure that you’re asking if I would do this all over again? Absolutely! Yes, this entire process was extremely stressful, but we learned a ton and would gladly accept another opportunity to do it again. I encourage anyone that can do filming for a movie to jump all over it. I just hope that by sharing these different points you’ll be better prepared and know what you’re getting into and be prepared.
I am the President of AerdiA and lead remote pilot in charge (LRPIC).