Rapid deployment aerial journalism

News organisations have to respond to events quickly, making it a challenge to successfully capture newsworthy stories from an aerial perspective. As such, aerial journalism traditionally tends to only occur for pre-planned events.

All this has changed with the recent introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones as they are usually called as, unlike planes or helicopters, they can be deployed in just a few minutes, can get closer to the action, are relatively inexpensive, and can even be used indoors.

Drones allow for previously unfeasible aerial views to be filmed and photographed, which can give news events a much greater sense of perspective.

While certain events occur so quickly that it is impossible to capture them before they are over, in most situations there is actually plenty of time to deploy a drone and capture the action. We are able to deploy our camera drone within just a few minutes of arrival on site.

Salon Le Bourget & the French Metropolitan Police commissioned us to help them survey the crowds at the Paris Air Show, & some additional aerial filming. To read more about this event and behind the scenes action, click here.

Broadcast image quality

Our DJI S900 drone is coupled with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera which records at 4K resolution and we can also broadcast the footage live via an HD lightbridge, should you so require; we can provide a clean HDMI or SDI output at 720p resolution, however the range from the ground receiver needs to be below 200 metres to avoid breakup and interference.

Whether broadcast live or not, it is possible for you to view what our camera drone records in real time via our ground-based monitoring screens. We can provide the footage in mp4 format recorded at 100mb/s in 4k, or up to 200mb/s in 1080p.

Permissions and restrictions

We have CAA permissions to film for commercial work and public liability insurance of £5m.

Before filming or photographing with our drone, we always conduct an online site survey to ensure that there are no flight restrictions or other issues that may affect the aerial shoot. To ensure public safety, there are understandably many regulations in place which we must adhere to. These include:

  • Not flying above 400 feet
  • Not filming in major congested areas
  • Not filming a crowd of over 1,000 people

Please note: additional restrictions also apply in central London.

Helicopter aerial filming and aerial photography services

If any of the above are an issue for you, we would recommend our helicopter aerial filming service. While they are certainly more expensive and take a little longer to deploy, helicopters are most suitable when you want to:

  • Film above 500 feet
  • Film in major European cities (including London)
  • Film a crowd of over 1,000 people
  • Film for long, continuous periods of time
  • Film multiple locations quickly

Again as with drones, you are able to view the recorded action in real time, as our helicopter can be configured to carry up to three passengers and also a director’s monitor.

Our Cineflex HD system accepts a range of recorders, from solid state options such as the Odyssey SSD or P2, to tape formats such as HDCAM and HDCAM SR. For more information about our drone and helicopter platforms, please see Our Aircraft.

Editing and post-production

We understand that news organisations most likely want to edit and post-produce the raw aerial footage themselves, but we do offer an editing and post-production service, in case you want to share the workload when time is of the essence.

Fast turnaround

By their very nature, journalists and news organisations require very fast turnaround times. We pride ourselves on the speed in which we can deliver your footage to you and we will work non-stop to ensure your deadline is met.

Our camera operators have worked directly in the film and television industry and have been recording aerial imagery since 2007. Some of our previous clients include the BBC, ITV, CBS, Sky, Discovery Channel, TF1 and more.

Aerial TV credits

  • Masterchef Morocco (2014) – Aerial Camera Operator
  • Masterchef France (2013) – Aerial Camera Operator
  • The Bachelor Ukraine (2012) – Aerial Camera Operator
  • Live Broadcast, Luanda Marathon, Angola (2012) – Aerial Camera Operator
  • Live Broadcast, World’s Largest Firework Display, Kuwait (2012) – Aerial Camera Technician
  • The World From Above (2008 to 2012) – CBS – Aerial Camera Technician

Other TV credits

  • Tony Robinson’s Walking Through Time (2012) – Graphics
  • Top Gear (2012) – Contributor (uncredited)
  • Railway Walks With Julia Bradbury (2008) – Graphics & Post-Production Services
  • Sky High (2008) – ITV – Graphics & Post-Production Services
  • Wainwright: The Man Who Loved The Lakes – Graphics & Post-Production Services
  • Eastern Skies (2007) – ITV – Graphics & Post-Production Services
  • Sky High (2007) – ITV – Graphics & Post-Production Services
  • Fast Flight (2007) – British Isles – Discovery – Graphics & Post-Production Services

If you would like to find out more about our aerial videography and photography services, or if you would like to discuss your requirements with us, please email us, visit our FAQ page, or call us on 01273 921991.

Our headquarters are in Lewes in East Sussex in the UK, but we will travel internationally to help you capture the action as it occurs.