Australian Drone Laws

Oh my we have landed in Australia! I am sat here drinking berocca (other vitamin drinks are available) as it was in the wonderful welcome pack given to us on landing here for World of Drones Congress.   Something that has been on the horizon for about ten months.  Can’t believe we have finally landed, I am here with Gemma Alcock from Skybound rescuer and we couldn’t be more excited. Both of us are speaking, meeting with people and I am running a creative drone masterclass on Wednesday!

Brisbane - Eagle St Pier & Citycat

 I thought I best find out a bit about Australian drone laws, because of course I have brought a drone with me and as I am here a while I will be flying. Also many of you have asked me about laws in other countries and yet I am not here to fly commercially I will want to fly. 

 I have connected with Tom Pils – AKA The Drone Lawyer here is a bit about him.

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Tom Pils- The Drone Lawyer

Tom has been building a practice exclusively in the area of drone law for the past 3 years. He has represented commercial drone operators in Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) investigations, advised on Applications for CASA Flight Authorisations (outside regulation approvals), and worked with insurance brokers on drone specific policies. Tom has a strong interest in drone regulation education. He regularly writes articles on legal aspects concerning drones which he publishes on his website thedronelawyer.com.au. Before focusing on drone law, Tom practised mainly in dispute resolution and litigation, as well as having extensive contract drafting & review experience. Tom’s broad range of experience serves his mission to empower drone operators through education, and to be the trusted advisor in their corner of the sky.

The Drone Lass & The Drone Lawyer: Q&A

Q. I am coming to Australia and want to bring my drone. Can I do this and what do I need to think about?

In general, drones can be brought into and flown in Australia. However, drones are quite heavily regulated and subject to a number of rules which vary depending on whether you intend to fly recreationally or commercially.

You must not operate your drone on a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person, or property.

The majority of drones flown in Australia that weigh over 250 grams are subject to standard operating conditions, including:

= not to be flown within 3 nautical miles (approximately 5 kilometres) from a controlled aerodrome (generally defined as where there is an active air control tower). The rules aren’t as strict for uncontrolled aerodromes and generally speaking you can fly within 3 nautical miles of an uncontrolled aerodrome but must avoid approach and departure paths and land immediately if you see a manned aircraft.

= You’re not allowed to fly higher than 400 feet Above Ground Level.

= You need to be able to see your drone at all times when flying. That unfortunately also means you’re generally not allowed to use those awesome First Person View (FPV) immersive goggles.

= You aren’t allowed to fly at night.

= You are not allowed to fly in a ‘populous’ area. If you haven’t come across the word ‘populous’ before, join the club. Populous is of Latin origin meaning ‘people’. So…don’t fly over the people? Well, pretty much. In short, a populous area is an area where there are enough people around where if your drone malfunctions it would pose an unreasonable risk to life, safety or property of someone in the area not connected to your flying. CASA gives some examples of populous areas such as as festivals, sporting ovals, busy beaches, busy roads and footpaths.

= Stay on the lookout for others because you are not to fly within 30 metres of a person not directly associate with your flight.

= If the police or fire brigade are there, you probably shouldn’t be flying over it. This also goes for situations where any “other public safety or emergency operation is being conducted”. One risk is that there may be police or fire fighting helicopters and if you’re getting some sweet shots of the action with your drone, you may be preventing them from resolving the incident. Don’t go from checking the incident to being the incident.

Q. Where can I fly my drone in Australia and how to do work out where I can fly legally?

Ideally, you should check a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which are notifications that alert pilots to any potential safety hazards along a flight route or in a specified location. They can also advise of changes to aeronautical facilities, services or procedures.

However, a less complicated (but also less formal) option is the ‘OpenSky’ app, which is endorsed by CASA. This shows a map of the area in which you want to fly and shows zones where drones cannot fly, can fly under conditions, or whether there are other obstacles.

It’s important to note that even where the app may seem to permit flights, you need to also consider all of the regulations as mentioned above. So, while helpful, the app is not the be all and end all. Also, the app’s terms of use state that you must continue to check official sources for information regarding whether and where you may fly your drone. Even if the app indicates that an area appears available for drone flight or free of restrictions, it does not guarantee, recommend, or endorse the safety or legality of your use of drones in that area. Also, the app states that it is advisory only, and is not to be used for the purpose of air navigation.

Finally, if you want to fly in a National Park, you should first check with the local authorities because sadly, some National Parks have restrictions on drones while others don’t allow drones to be flown at all.

Q. I have drone accreditation from another country. Will this be recognised in Australia?

While you could apply to CASA to have a foreign endorsement or licence recognised, CASA is unlikely to recognise this and to give you the equivalent certification in Australia. This is because the Australian Remote Pilot’s Licence is unique to Australia, its airspace and regulations.

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DJI Mavic Air

Q. Are there any differences depending on whether I want to fly for fun or commercially?

For commercial use, at present in Australia, if your drone has a gross weight less than 2 kg, then you can conduct commercial operations without a licence, however you need to notify CASA before you fly and must also operate within the standard operating conditions mentioned above. If your drone’s gross weight is over 2kg, then you also need to obtain a Remote Pilot Licence and operate under a Remote Pilot Operator’s Certificate.

For recreational use, you are generally allowed to fly a drone up to 25kg without a licence but must still follow the abovementioned conditions.

Q. Is there anything else I need to consider before flying my drone in Australia?

Australia is in the process of introducing mandatory drone registration and pilot accreditation.

All drones operated commercially will need to be registered. This is anticipated to be introduced in Australia before the end of 2019.

Most drones operated recreationally that weigh more than 250 grams will need to be registered. Drones flown recreationally indoors or flown exclusively flown at a CASA-verified model airfields will not need to be registered.

Accreditation will be mandatory which will involve watching an education video and passing an online quiz.

The Drone Lawyer can be contacted via website  and on Twitter @ausdronelawyer

Tom, Thank you so much this is really really helpful and once I am off on my travels around the rest of Australia I can’t wait to fly safely and responsibly and feel this gives me confidence in where I can fly whilst I am here.  

Happy Flying everyone 

The Drone Lass

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Brisbane, World of Drones – Creative Workshop

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I am pleased to announce that I am running my  creative workshop at the World of Drones Congress in Brisbane on the Wednesday 25th of September to book and learn more please visit the The World of Drones congress website

 

Location Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1, Hospitality Suite

Date Wednesday 25 September 2019

Time 9:30am – 4:30pm

Cost $225

Feedback from drone ops I have trained in the UK:-

‘Firstly thank you very much for all your help.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way you delivered the training. I also appreciate your patience and help! ” – Mark Pollard 

“I am raring to get going now, I have a greater understanding of what drone settings are best for video.” Joolze Dymond , Professional sports Photographer.

“Thank you, I enjoyed the workshop very much and now I feel equipped to improve my showreel and video work all-round” Roy Morris, Aerial Aspect

“The Drone Training with Carys was invaluable, I enjoyed it that much that I went on to book a 121 session of training with her as well.  I definitely left the training a lot more confidence”. Vicky Louise. 

I am looking forward to meeting you all, I do hope you can attend

The Drone Lass – AKA Carys

 

 

 

 

The World of Drones Congress

WoDC Bris, Qld, Aust

In just over a month before I head out to the The World of Drones Congress. (WoDC) in Brisbane. I was invited back in December 2018 and got official request to attend in February. It felt like a life time ago but as with all things,  it is now fast coming up on the horizon. I feel very honoured to be invited.

Since  I have known about the WoDC, I have wanted to attend but to be invited as a speaker is really beyond what I could have thought could happen.  For me it looks like the one event that is more about the business opportunities and the sharing of knowledge to springboard your business.   Rather than just about the new tech and not just about networking but also about the real global business opportunities.

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What is The World of Drones Congress and why you should attend?

The World of Drones is a global congress with workshops, presentations and meetings and if you are serious about building business on the global stage then this for you and your business.

There are genuine opportunities to build business in Queensland Australia back in December 2018, I was invited to the  High Commission of Australia in London and listened to all of the trade opportunities that exist in Australia. I think from the UK we may not think about the Australian opportunities open to us and now it is time to think more about a global stage. ( I am not mentioning the B word here on purpose)

Australia has had drone laws for 17 years and has a lot of innovation and investment which was revealed at this presentation in London.  Queensland in particular appears to be like the silicon valley of Australia for drone tech.  Opportunities for entrepreneur visas are available in Australia.  If you have that entrepreneur spirt and that is connected to drones then what are you waiting for? Book a ticket and come and network and see what Queensland and Australia has on offer.

There are people from all over the world attending, Japan, America, China, New Zealand  Europe as well as people from the Australian states and beyond.

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You could also spend some time doing some exploring and tourist activities 

 

What else is on at The World of Drone Congress?

Apart from all the speakers who are experts in scientific research, humanitarian, SAR (Search and rescue), and creative industries.  There are workshops, exhibitors who are exhibiting their tech innovations, an educational workshop for school students and also a health and safety workshop.

I am really looking forward to hearing for experts from around the world on the latest technology the policies, research and applications of drones.  Meeting people from all over the world that are as passionate about drones as myself.

My session is Session 3.2: Business, Movies & Media on Thursday 26 SEP 19 from 1330 to 1500.  I will be talking about the use of drones in visual story telling the UK and techniques all drone ops can use to improve their visual story telling all the lessons I have learnt so far as TV camera operator and TV director,  condensed into this presentation.

Please come and say hello at the end of the session if you are attending.

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The Drone Lass

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Creative Drone Masterclass – August 2019

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I am running a creative drone masterclass next week, I have moved the date to accommodate the candidates and we are really looking forward to getting to grips with what it means to create better drone videos.   Even as a film maker , Producer/ Director and TV camera operator it took me a while to master the drone and make my footage better.  I will be showing the drone ops how produce creative videos that they can use to promote their skills.

There is still time to join £425 per person for 2 days (if booking directly)  – 7th August – 8th of August. If you need to claim the VAT back please book through Eventbrite link, where you will also find out in-depth what the masterclass entails.

I am an experienced trainer and educator and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with drone pilots building their businesses by increasing their skill set.

 

Have a great weekend

The Drone Lass

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UK’s First Women only PFCO course

 

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Teaching a drone workshop in Switzerland at The Evolve Videography retreat

I am pleased to announce that I am joining The Aerial Academy as a flight instructor

I have now been flying drones professionally for over four years. I am a camera operator and shooting producer/director for TV and I have flown drones for major TV companies including the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and various independent production companies. I have appeared on BBC 5 Live, BBC News channels, Good Morning Britain and in The Guardian as a drone industry spokesperson and expert.  The past 12 months I have become a public speaker and educator.  So now I feel that this is the next move for me and for a while I have tried to find the right NQE to join.

I am very excited about joining The Aerial Academy and for many years have admired the company’s ethics and focus on delivering high-quality drone training, from experienced drone pilots to those starting out in the drone industry. I am looking forward to working alongside owners Jonathan Carter and Elliot Corke and working alongside the other instructors.

Part of the reason for running this course is to share my passion to encourage more women into becoming part of the drone industry.  There is  the potential for a level playing field for women in the drone industry, but also realise that some women may be intimidated being the only woman on a PFCO course – so we are launching a UK first PFCO women-only course. Starting this initiative with a limited one-off course which we expect to be in high demand. We have already have had a number of women book on the course.

It will be held on 13/14th May 2019 in the Manchester/Sheffield area.

Why we’re running a women-only course

Approximate figures suggest that women only make up 3% of the UAV industry – as a company we would love to see that rise and think that this course might be the answer.

For a long time it has been known that women are not joining the ranks of professional drone pilots. Studies are underway to understand why women are not becoming professional pilots, but in the meantime we hope that this course will be received as a positive move by the drone industry.

How to book 

To unlock the booking use the special event code ‘AllFemale’
https://dronetraining.co.uk/book-now

Or call Alexandra on 0161 883 3897

On this course you will get the usual high standard of support from The Aerial Academy with 12 month support and guidance after the course, Ops manual creation and a dedicated pro facebook group.

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“The Future is Female Drone Pilots”  Photo by Joolze Dymond

Looking forward to meeting those of you who are joining me in May

Carys –

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The PFCO course is for anyone who wants to use their drone commercially in the UK to gain insurance and be safe legal.  Please note it is still the law not to fly your drone as additional skills on the side of a paid project.  If you are gaining  financially  for any part of a shoot you must be legal.   See my PFCO Link 

 

 

#WomenWhoPhoto Campaign

Photography show

Way back in November 2019 I was approached by The Photography Show after appearing in the Guardian to see if I would be interested in speaking at The Photography Show and The Video Show in Birmingham. Strange how that felt like a lifetime ago and here it is just around the corner. The organisers also asked if I would be a Women Who Photo ambassador.

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The WomenWhoPhoto campaign aims to inspire and celebrate women who use a camera for stills and for video.   There are many more who are speaking over the 4 days and it is not just the ambassadors. There are other women speakers across all the days but some of us have chosen to be featured.

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The gender imbalance in the Photography, Video, Camera operators and of course Drone Pilot’s still exist and if we can highlight this and inspire others to take up the profession or as a hobby this would be amazing.

The BBC Highlighted four of the ambassadors in Women Behind the Lens 

These campaigns are so important to inspire other women to take up photography and film making as a hobby or in a professional capacity to just to become more balanced.

Come along to the panel discussion on

Saturday 16th March 15:00 – 15:45  on the Photo Live stage

Keys to success – Building your profile

We will be discussing how to price your projects, how to build and maintain confidence and how to promote your work.

Have a great weekend

Do say hello if you are attending.

The Drone Lass

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The Photography and Video Show March 2019

Why you should visit The Photography and Video Show this coming weekend. 

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The capacity to meet new people and build your network is unlimited.  I have met lots of people at these events by just chatting so if you are on your own don’t let this hold you back. There are many people are in a similar position. We are British start a conversation in the queue for coffee,  talk about the weather? It is always a great opener.  Ask someone what do they do?  Are they enjoying the show?  What would they recommend you don’t miss?  What was the best thing they have seen. Just general chit chat doesn’t have to be about cameras and film making. I do think we have lost the art of connecting with other humans. That might be the technology that has caused us to do that.  Step out of your comfort zone.  It is important to remember, other photographers, videographers, drone pilots and film makers are not your competition but your colleagues this applies to amateur and pros. If you are not pro this is even better for you, it could open up a whole new career, learn some exciting skills

As pro’s and hobby photographers we spend hours alone behind cameras and laptops. Attending a show like The photography show and UK video show will be good investment of your time.

 Tips for attending the show

  1. Wear really comfortable footwear.
  2. Write a list of the talks and masterclasses you want to see.
  3. write a list of cameras you want to play with and visit the stands.
  4. If looking for new kit find out what price you would pay before you attend. then you can check you are getting the deal that is right for you.
  5. keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss the talks as they are short you don’t want to miss anything.
  6. Don’t forget to eat and drink.   
  7. Carry some snacks.  
  8. Sit down a bit.
  9. Have a systematic approach in walking up and down the exhibitors that way you won’t miss anything.
  10. Get orientated so you know where the stages are in the halls.
  11. Sign up for every competition to win things as you never know someone has to win.
  12. Do a bit of social media but don’t spend all the time on the phone.
  13. No business cards, no problem follow each other on social media twitter and Instagram is good for that.
  14. If you plan to spend money bring your cards, if you don’t want to spend money leave your cards at home!
  15. DOWNLOAD The Photography / video show app – What a time to be alive! 

 

I have just been planning my days at the show aside from being a speaker I am really looking forward to hearing others speaking.

Link to my presentation times

Get your tickets here

See you there

The Drone Lass

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Follow me on social media Insta and Twitter

 

 

 

 

Gatwick Dronegate, my thoughts.

 

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Photo Credit Rob Farmer

It has been nearly two months since I ended up woken by a call from BBC 5Live could I comment on the drones flying at Gatwick? How they have stopped for flights for nearly 10 hours?   I then ended up along with other numerous drone operators and company owners commenting, how they were doing it?  Little did we know on the morning of the 20th that the situation would roll on all day and into the 21st of December.  A big news story indeed 100’s of passengers grounded by a drone just before Christmas.  There was other news that day, for example, £85 million pounds in public health cuts was revealed and not one news outlet mentioned this.

My criticism of all news channels from where ever you are in the world, press, media, TV, Radio, and Online will focus on one big story and then other stories slip out unnoticed, unchallenged.  The need for all humans to have every minute detail is blamed on our consuming news for a 24-hour basis and via social media channels we can know what is going on instantly and this can be beneficial and can be detrimental, as always there are pros and cons of social media.

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Photo Credit  Rob Farmar

On the day of the 20th Decembers briefings, discussions and reportings spoke of witnesses from Airline Pilots, airport ground staff, police and members of the public.  An industrial-sized drone, dark in colour, flying for a long period of time in the rain and windy conditions.   On this basis, the airport was closed.  Personally, I don’t believe a major UK airport would be closed if there was no drone or drones.  Then a spokesperson for Sussex police then miscommunicates that there wasn’t a drone,  then it was suggested that it was in fact, the police drone. An innocent couple was arrested and their details all over the worlds media outlets – then fortunately released.   It was outrageous that some media outlets named the individuals, again a symptom of this excessive need for detail by us all as incidents occur.  BBC then reported that all that was miscommunicated by Sussex police and that indeed there were drones at Gatwick.  

People have hooked on to the fact that there were no drones mentioned and every time I do a retweet or repost anything I am shouted down on social media. Some of which has been quite vile.  I am going with the knowledge that I have. There are many opinions that there were no drones because there are no photos or footage and because of what the spokesperson for Sussex police said. However, I go with what was my initial media briefings when I was appearing on various news outlets across TV and Radio. That there were multiple sightings by pilots and passengers.

If there is a serious crime do I need to see a photo to know it occurred? Say for example to know a murder has taken place, I don’t need to see the evidence.  As humans, we need to stop needing all the fine details of cases and crimes and let those dealing get on with investigating.  We may never know what happened at Gatwick and then the copycat incident at Heathrow on the 8th of January. 

Or just a random flight by someone but you can’t deny that the authorities dealt with that incident quickly flights resumed within 1 hour / 90 minutes.

This then lead to a statement being issued by DJI – saying that in summary that it was all false, probably feeling that their products and reputation was being affected.

I think that actually, DJI does the very best to ensure that their drone tech will not fly anywhere near airports and requested sites.  DJI did have a very fair point that drones at airports have been mistaken and then on the investigation has turned up out to be a balloon, a plastic bag and a bat amongst other things.

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Photo Credit  Rob Farmar

Public perception may be down concerning drones,  an increase in drone legislation is not needed as you will never legislate for criminals and those with malicious intentions for those who have the capability beyond the drones that small commercial drone operators and hobbyists fly. You certainly won’t ever legislate for idiots either.

For I while I was saying that this will damage the UK industry, but now really I think it is mainly public perception which has been being damaged and knee jerk reactions for those in authority.  Those with real business needs are not going to stop using drones.

Coventry council planned to ban drones and announced its proposals in early January 2019,  but thank you to Kerry Blakeman of Drone Heights he put forward an alternative and spoke in positive terms and the ban was overturned including the charge that was proposed for commercial operators.   I think it is very interesting that Coventry council u-turn and positive news story that could have been,  has not been reported widely, but symptomatic on the sensationalisation of drone news stories.

The other impacts were obvious that the economic fallout for Gatwick and the flight operators.  Previously it seems that counter drone technology has not been on the top of the agenda but the threat has been very much in everyone’s minds. Dr. Catherine Ball, World Congress of Drones said in 2015 “anti-drone is the new drone”.  There are a number of companies who have developed counter drone technology and in a future post, I will be looking at what those companies offer.

What we need is for airports to be secured by using anti-drone technology, as commercial operators that will help as everyone can then breath a sigh of relief when there will be fewer air incursions.  Positive news stories on drones maybe then reported more, perhaps I can dream about that.

It doesn’t matter if you think there was a drone at Gatwick or not, the most important thing is that all those that fly drones keep positive and look for positive ways to promote their business, hobby or interest.  This was never about professional drone operators and hobbyists this was something else.  I think a cause of concern that the perpetrators were not located and where does that leave the aviation industry except reeling at not taking this particular threat seriously. It took this shocking long term grounding of planes at the busiest days of the year to start tender processes at the largest airports in the UK.  Once the technology is in place this then we can all breathe a bit easier.

I am personally hoping that we never see days like that again.

The Drone lass

 

Please, note links to all related articles are in the text above and go to external websites.  Please do take time to read further on this subject.

 

 

How to price a drone job

 

img_2386-1This blog post could easily have the title why drone operators are worth the fee’s they ask or how to value yourself and your business.  It seems that because there are now thousands of operators in the UK being trained for a small amount of work that everyone is undercutting and you could say ‘oh that is market forces’ but let me explain why actually once you just undercut you are undermining a whole new industry. It is important to be competitive but also don’t sell yourself to the bottom rates.

I have been in business for over 15 years, even if I haven’t been running my own company, I have always had a sideline. I have learnt so much in that time one is to value the service I provide to others and they will value you too.   I am member of BECTU and there are minimum day rates issued for camera operators, make up artists and all different grades across all different types of activities TV, Film and advertising.  What is not included is drone operator / Drone companies.

Like other businesses we need to take into account the following and this is then how you work out how much your day rate should be.    What you shouldn’t be doing is finding out how much else someone is charging and thinking ‘I will do it for half or seventy five percent of that.’   You are not Ikea, Lidl or some other budget high street offer.   Those companies use economies of scale and market forces and lost leaders to get customers through the door, also it can be highlighted about how the exploit some suppliers. You can not do that as a drone operator offering lost leaders, you can only fly for so many days of the year and you can only fly once in a day unless you are so lucky you get jobs grouped together. You have paid a significant amount for your training, you have put hours in learning about the law, you have stood for hours flying to make yourself a skilled drone pilot.  You have paid CAA fees and you have paid for insurance and the drone and all the accessories.

It isn’t possible to do for a cheap rate and then start to increase it doesn’t work like that.

Here is my formula and how work out my day rate for all my work strands.

First of all the drone how much does that cost, say you plan to fly 10 professional jobs a year.  (Yes you may not fly as much as you are being told by NQE’s. ) so divide that drone by 10 . That is how much it costs you to fly it for the day.  Alternatively you could price based on hire prices with Heliguy 

Lets take the example on Heliguy’s hire prices it’s £245 per day for an Inspire 2. That is the basic set up you may have more than the basic set up i.e more batteries

Then are you charging travel or travel time? That will tend to be something that is down to yourself.  I tended to charge mileage but now a lot of my projects now only do fuel contribution and so for me to go to Peak district to Birmingham they give me £25 fuel allowance.  That is actually probably what fuel it actually takes you can use google to calculate the proper costs for the car / van you drive.

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What about planning a job? This now can take me anywhere between a couple of hours if standard flight planning and bespoke risk assessment (RA) as a new drone operator this may take you half a day. This is not the flight planning that the NQE’s teach this is more as you have to think about where you are taking off, and where you are landing in relation to your directors filming requirements.  Also you will find some production companies want a bespoke risk assessment for their insurance / H&S department. I have been writing these for years now but I did a very low risk drone job on the moors in April and I had to write documents taking a full day to complete.   You need to factor that time in. This is a difficult one as this I did not expect and it was because the company had strict H&S department it was time I had not allowed. Had I known the charge would have been higher.

Micro SD cards are you adding the price to the job, I have started to and then the client get’s to keep it.  I have had too many being stolen in the post.   For this example it would be £30 as I use very high speed cards. Unless data wrangling is taking place on set.

Insurance let’s say £1000 and divide that by 10 pro jobs you are hoping do in your first year.

Can you see how now you might be under charging?

 

Drone £245

Fuel £25

Micro SD card £30

Time Planning £75

Costs so far  £375   – this will vary for you may have different value drone/ drones.

The costs above for your day rate are not including any training, your skills you have learnt and need to value, drone spares, batteries and props, drone maintenance, training, website, office supplies, accountant fees, holiday fees.  Spare drone, what happens if you crash your one drone or for some reason it doesn’t fly do you have contingency as the shoot still needs to go ahead.  Unless it is due to weather or perhaps legal reasons you need to maintain your professional reputation or create a good reputation if you are starting out.

Not all drone companies are equal, there are people who have better drones who have been flying years, they fly bigger drones than you, they have different skill set and an perhaps and enhanced OSC (operating safety case).  All this is going to factor into the day rate.

Production companies do forget this about any freelancer there are costs the day rates are not plucked out of the air if you pardon the pun. Part of the responsibly of value comes down to you as well. Please don’t undervalue what you do, don’t undervalue what others are doing.

I hope this helps anyone pricing their jobs if that is a camera operator, film maker or creative.  It is very difficult when you perhaps don’t have actual physical raw materials that are then manufactured into a physical object to find the price point.

I bet if you sit and work out about your costs you will actually think my goodness I am selling my skills cheap!

Food for thought.  I am sure there are things that I haven’t mentioned.   I am sure you are now going to say but you can only get what the market will pay.  Yes but equally the cheaper you go the less all drone operators will be paid.

TV companies are being pushed more and more to produce more content for less money, so day rates are being squeezed in all sectors. I have a good understanding of this. I think equally people doing the hiring of freelancers need to also understand the costs involved in being a freelancer.

A production company contacted me earlier in the year they wanted a drone for the whole day in Leicester and had been given my details as a recommendation for the grand fee of £150.  Let’s put it in perspective a freelance TV runner is paid £125 to £150 per day.  I could have sent and email that explained all the above but my simple reply was “the fee you are offering is not reflecting the skills nor the equipment that I operate.” The day after I got a booking on the same day at my proper day rate.

This brings me to half day rates,  if you take that lower rate that half day what happens when a full booking comes in?  Do you commit to that cheaper booking or go for the full rate?  That is why a lot of freelancers are considered flakey and mess around production companies around.  I have a good reputation that once I commit to a day that might be as a film maker or white label drone operation for another company, I don’t let people down.

For those that say our budget is only £150 for a drone operator, I say well then you can’t afford a drone for your production then.   I would never say to a plumber I want a new bathroom can you do it for free or a very low rate it is good for your portfolio or for a good social media post.

You may choose to fly for your favourite charitable cause for free, I sometimes do things I want to, but  I tell those that are working for the charity what it would cost them so that they can value the skills you are giving them.

Please feel to write comments below on what you feel about day rates being driven lower, what I have missed out of this post.

Have a great day

The Drone Lass

 

 

 

 

Evolve Filmmakers retreat

I have known for a while that I am heading to Switzerland in November to speak at Evolve Filmmakers retreat, I will be doing an introduction to using drones section. I am very excited. The aim of the retreat is increase your story telling skills and as well as increasing your confidence and also network with a wide variety of film makers from all over Europe and the UK.  Carrying on from yesterday’s blog post I think it is really important that you don’t hold yourself back, invest in your training as a freelancer is really important.

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My friend and colleague Emma Wilson has opened up two final places on her Evolve Videography Retreat in Switzerland – Two days of immersive learning and practical exercises and three nights of good food and great conversation in a five star spa hotel with like-minded female filmmakers, all expenses paid*

More reasons to book onto this FEMALE ONLY workshop, Evolve NOW:
1. BE INSPIRED and learn from an experienced and successful female wedding filmmaker and former BBC Trainer with guest appearances from Sharrone Califiore, Fiore Films and The Drone Lass (me)
2. THE CHANCE TO SHADOW Emma on a European destination wedding, expenses paid.
3. LEARN NOW, PAY LATER – payment available in instalments so you can BOOK now with a deposit and take advantage of this ‘once-a-year workshop’ and be ready for 2019
*Flights to Switzerland currently around £40.00 RTN

** this workshop is all about hands-on and fully immersive learning and only for those women ready to take their business to the next level

So feel free to share this blog post and link to Evolve Videography Training link 

I would recommend talking to Emma as she is very inspiring.

If you are thinking why female only please read this post 

Happy #filmmakerfriday and #femalefilmmakerfriday

Looking forward to meeting everyone in Switzerland.

The Drone Lass

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