Top ten considerations for using a drone in your video.

What do you need to consider before using a drone for a video production?


Drones are great, adding real production value to a video, and everyone likes that!

Check out our latest aerial  showreel!


But there is quite a bit that needs to be considered before a drone can be used in a video production.


1) I won’t bang on about this, as it smacks of self justification, but if you’re a business, you must use a CAA licensed operator.

If you’re an agency sourcing aerial footage from your client be aware!

UK broadcasters are now checking that footage they have been provided with comes from licensed drone operators.

We were surprised recently when of our clients was asked by ITV to provide the licence of the pilot who shot footage they had supplied for inclusion in a news bulletin.

2) Location;  Every location needs to have a risk assessment to see if it is possible to fly.  

Problems include airports, specified no fly zones or infrastructure such as power stations, railways, motorways etc.

London often requires specific permissions for flight.

3) The Public;  You can’t fly within 50 metres of people you have no control over,  without specific permissions from the CAA 

4) Altitude;  You can’t fly above 400 feet.

5) The weather;  Winds and rain (Or snow!) can keep us on the ground.

6) Night;  You can’t fly at night without specific permission to do so from the CAA.

7) We need a safe place to land and take off from and then observe the flight.

The drone must be in site of the operator at all times. 

8) Electromagnetic interference;  Flying in areas with strong electromagnetic interference can make control of the drone impossible.

Interference can come from high voltage power lines, or mobile phone masts.

9) Crew.  The crew will vary according to the complexity of the shoot, location or specific health and safety requirements of the client.

We will always need two people to fly, the pilot and an observer.

10) Consents from landowners.  We can’t fly willy-nilly over private property.   People and companies have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and we can’t control people on property if we don’t have consent to access that property.

The UK is the most highly regulated market for commercial drone operations in the world,  and this level of regulation is not going to change anytime soon in light of the Gatwick incidents.


We produced this social media version of a wind farm case study for E.ON with extensive use of the drone, and yes, Welsh language subtitles.

A drone can be a powerful tool which can add real value to a shoot, but if the filmmaker can’t make operating the drone part of their normal operations, then this added value will be out of reach for many clients.

As commercial operators we have a wide range of considerations which we make before we can fly,  for a run-through of the basics,  check out the uk drone code.

At Page One we use our drone as just another camera.

How do we do that??

We build the considerations for drone video into every project we undertake, from moment one.

With both of our principle photographers/filmmakers being qualified pilots and with our editors being familiar with the issues surrounding drone footage, we now use the drone as it’s intended.

If we can shoot, and it will add value to the project, we will.

The drone produces shots which would otherwise take more time, more expensive gear or simply not be possible, quickly and with minimal effort. It’s a productivity multiplier.

So the complications and costs associated with this camera are more than offset by the additional value and productivity it brings to projects, and minimised by making the drone operations part of our DNA.

If you want to see how our use of drones could make your next project better value, talk to us.

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