• 8 Questions To Ask Before You Film Billboards With A Drone

    More and more out of home companies are using drones to film billboards.  Look at this video of an Outfront Media billboard installation filmed by Drone It Texas.

    Insider asked Scott Vivian, the owner of Drone It Texas to talk about using drones to film billboards.

    Scott, do you need to be licensed to fly a drone?

    One does not need a license to fly a drone, however, as of August 29th, 2016, to operate a drone commercially, one has to have their Remote Pilot Airman Certificate (RPC), be at least 16 years old, and pass a TSA vetting process. The drone must weigh less than 55 pounds and be registered with the FAA if it weighs over .55 pounds. The registration number must be marked on the aircraft and be visible without using tools. Each aircraft must have its own, unique registration number. The registration number must be in an ‘active’ status with the FAA. Both the aircraft registration certificate and remote pilot certificate must be with the pilot during all operations. For more information, see Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulation (14 CRF) Part 107 (or go to faa.gov/uas).

    What questions should a billboard company ask when choosing a drone company to video signs?

    1. Do you have a current Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC)? This is key. To be paid commercially, they must have at least one pilot with an RPC. If an accident happens, not only is the drone company liable, whomever hired them is also liable.
    2. Are you insured? What type and amount of coverage do you have?
    3. Does your aircraft have an FAA registration number? Is it ‘active’?
    4. Have you had any previous drone accidents?
    5. Do you have a pre-flight checklist?
    6. Do you have a flight operations manual?
    7. Who ‘owns’ the rights to the pictures/video?
    8. Have you done this before?

    What questions will a drone company have for an out of home company.

    1. It takes out-of-home industry knowledge to really get an idea of what the billboard company wants. Questions from the drone company to the billboard company include:
    2. What is the timeframe to get this done? There is always the possibility that the drone company will have to submit a waiver with the FAA. It can take 90 days or longer to get an approval – on average a week or so.
    3. What is the budget for this project?
    4. What shots are you going to need? Normally a good traffic shot to a reveal is needed. A ‘God’s eye’ view to get a sense of the overall area the billboard is in. There are also a handful of other techniques and shots that can be used to add life and character to the video. We always like to end with a nice beauty shot of the creative – a really close pan from left to right to show how beautiful the board and creative really are.
    5. How will this be distributed? (Social media, website, YouTube etc.) The output handed back to the billboard company is determined by the answer to this question.

    Tell us about the Outfront media video shoot for Life Sciences.

    We had to reach out to a team in our Drone it Network, because we were scheduled to attend the Interdrone convention in Las Vegas the day of the shoot. With coordination of the billboard company, Outfront Media, and the drone operators, the 3D inflatable vinyl install was filmed in 4K time-lapsed video. A motion stabilizer was used in postproduction because it was a windy day and there was only one shot at getting the footage. Forty minutes of film was then compressed into a twenty-six second video.

    Tomorrow Scott will talk about what it costs and what are the challenges when you film billboards.  To learn more about drones and billboards contact Scott Vivian, Drone it Texas / Drone It Network 469-569-4160 svivian@DroneItTexas.com


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    2 Comments

    1. Why would a billboard company want drone footage of their billboard? How does that help the company?

    2. billboardinsider says:

      The idea is to have great pictures of your boards which you can inforporate into ride sheets and ad proposals and great video to ad to your company’s website which will result in increased sales.
      Advertisers and agencies often request pictures and video of an approach to a billboard. A drone allows you to film that. A drone is also a much safer way to film what a billboard looks like as opposed to standing on the shoulder of a busy freeway to take the picture with traffic whizzing by inches away. Finally, a drone can give you a much better panoramic view of the board and the surroundings.