Production company offers £50.00 for licensed drone operator..seriously!

Graeme Taplin
Aerial Camera / Drone

How are film production companies (term used lightly) allowed to post jobs like this: for a licensed drone operator. Offering a total of £50.00 for a few hours work, when we all know 'it is never just a few hours work!'
Disgraceful and unprofessional.

  • 4 years ago
  • 1,365
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Jason Yip
Director of Photography

The real issue isn't even the amount of hours involved, it's the bare-faced cheek of offering such a low hourly rate for a skill (plus equipment) that has cost the owner several thousands to acquire.

I see casting calls for drone operators with drones capable of supporting an Arri camera... and they offer £150 for the day, which is way too low. Just hiring a robust and good quality drone can cost a few hundred quid in itself, never mind the skill in piloting the damned thing.

Then you have to factor in insurance in case the drone gets damaged, etc. And there are licensing costs. Some film makers are oblivious to real costs involved.

  • 4 years ago
  • 1

Id suggest you forward them a catalogue of quality drones complete with price list .Then tell them if they'd care to buy it and insure it , then you'll be happy to fly it . Im sure once they fully appreciate the costs involved , they might have a little rethink

  • 4 years ago
  • 2
Dan Clayton

We see this sort of thing all to often! Many fail to realise that even a drone shoot that is scheduled to take place for 1 hour could take days in advance to plan and get cleared. There are intricacies that have to be worked through and have to be done legally. Lets just say for example all checks and pre planning can be done quite easily. Its a job in the middle of nowhere and out of controlled airspace. At bare minimum it'll actually be a 4 hour job thus being around half a days rate. A 1 hour drone shoot is never just a 1 hour drone shoot.

Plus theres the previous mentioned equipment cost and insurance etc.

For those operators that are going out doing the jobs for £50 or lower prices than they really should be,
1. how on earth is that sustainable.
2. while you're chasing those low figures to get jobs, all you're actually doing is de valuing the industry.
3. If I was the client, id be questioning how can you as an operator be competent in what your doing.
4. You've obviously got no regards for CAA legislation and safety. Do you even know about them. If you do happen to have a license then you should be ashamed and stripped of that permission to operate commercially.
5. if indeed you are doing everything as you should be and we are assuming wrong, then you're just being very silly and helping no one, not even yourself.

As mentioned by Graeme, the production companies should also know better, its disgraceful that they don't.

  • 4 years ago
  • 3
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