Drone Gear When On Set

So when we fly drones on film sets… what all drone gear do we take with us to make sure we get the job done?

vidmuze-van-4-2Transportation – One of our largest assets is our “VidMuze Mobile,” or our Dodge Promaster 2500 Series. This vehicle is the ultimate drone/camera truck, in my opinion.

Space: This cargo van is 20′ long, 8′ 4″ tall. It has 406 cubic feet of storage space. The ceiling inside is 6′ 4″ tall which is one of the larger bonuses. Since we prep our gimbals inside the van, having the ceiling this high allows us to move around freely without having to hunch over.

vidmuze-van-1-1-2Fuel: Our Promaster is powered with a 4 stroke Eco Diesel engine. This allows the 6,500 lbs. monster to get 24-26 mpg when on the highway which helps keep travel costs down.

Power: Our Promaster comes equipped with a 220 amp alternator which allows us to tap in and re-charge a lot of our field components.

Passengers: The Promaster right off the assembly line can only carry two people, driver and passenger. Since we need at least three people on our aerial team, pilot, gimbal op and safety officer (Visual Observer), we needed a few extra seats. We installed two extra captain chairs which allows for a total of 4 crew members to travel.

magliner-seniorCamera Cart: Another large asset that has been a huge help on set since day one, is our camera cart. Depending on the type of production we’re flying on, our camera cart helps carry the number of cases, charging station and gimbals we use throughout the day. For the most part, the camera cart lives in the VidMuze Mobile, which makes it a great workbench and houses our gimbals during transport. On most jobs, we build the gimbal the night before. This saves us time when on set and keeps the production moving forward.

custom-charging-stationCharging Station: When flying drones, a lot of companies bring a small generator to charge their LiPo batteries when on set. This works for most, but we’ve found that generators are noisy, smelly (fuel), require maintenance and consume a lot of fuel. So we engineered a custom battery powered charging station. We’ll be posting another blog post and video about this soon, so stay tuned.

DIT: Digital Imaging Technician. This is a job position for the DIT or DAT to dump video footage, render/edit dailies and color correct the footage. When we fly drones, there’s always footage to be dumped throughout the day. Sometimes we are hired to manage the footage and this is where having a DIT station is a must. Our setup includes AC power to power laptops, hard drives, monitors and anything else a DIT will need. We also have a 28″ 4K Asus monitor so the director can proof footage whenever he or she chooses. Having us handle the footage is a big bonus to the client and a load off their mind.

Drones: We typically fly our Freefly System Alta 6’s on our jobs. As we’ve said many times, REDUNDANCY! So, naturally we have two Altas. These drones live in their cases towards the back of the Promaster. We built a simple shelf that allows us to ratchet strap them down and everything stays nice and secure during transporting.

Conclusion: I hope that helps answer some of the drone gear questions you guys have been asking. If you have more questions, comment below. Those of you who are getting more into aerial cinematography and want to learn from our training series, you can check out our Drone Tutorial Series for Filmmakers v2.0.

Drone Tutorial Series

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