Film and TV Productions Are Using Drones for Scouting Locations, Lighting and More

  • Variety
Since a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 that cleared the use of drones in film and TV production, the acquisition of footage by these unmanned flying machines has become de rigueur for aerial shooting in cases when cranes or aircraft are impractical or unsafe.

As such, drones have been greeted enthusiastically not only by DPs, who deploy them to secure those hard-to-get shots and angles, but also by location managers, who are responsible for handling filming sites, permitting fees, logistics and safety.

Mike Fantasia, a supervising location manager on a long list of high-profile films — including “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” — has used drones for scouting and planning the details of shoots.

In fact, Fantasia, who is president of the Location Managers Guild Intl., believes in applications beyond just filming. “I can see a drone hoisting a light into the night sky, replacing a crane or manlift,
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