5 Things to Consider Before Hiring Your Next Aerial Film Crew

Hiring a film crew today may seem simple given the ubiquitous camera in everyone’s pockets, but it’s a tricky business. The price you pay for your film crew often has nothing to do with money. Between unusable footage, location trouble, and scheduling mishaps, an unprofessional film crew could wind up pushing production back or shutting down the film entirely. It’s time to learn more about what’s really important when it comes to hiring aerial filming services

Aerial filming crew in Charlotte, Helivision can help you with our aerial filming needs to get the perfect aerial view.



This is usually the driving force behind a filmmaker’s decision, so it makes sense to tackle it first. To evaluate what aerial cinematography is really worth, consider what amateur talent can do to your final results. Even if you don’t need Oscar-movie level production quality, you’re still working with expensive equipment and talent. An inexperienced film crew will waste everyone’s time learning on the job (and that’s if they bother to learn at all!)

We all have instances in our life where we skimped on the budget and got away with it, but when it comes to filming, don’t take this risk. A crew that undercuts their prices at every turn is likely using desperation a way to make up for a lack of expertise. Those who have put in the time and effort to learn their craft to the highest level will expect to see competitive compensation offered to them. They’re the same people who refuse to cut corners when times get tough. 


Ok, it is true that not all companies that charge a lot are automatically worth your time. Some crews may be extremely competent when it comes to action-packed scenes, but they may not be able to adapt well to different types of film sets and locations. Some may present their work as the best in the business, but the trained eye can spot that their equipment and employees are second-rate at best. As with everything in life, you want references to be from those with enough experience in the film industry to compare and contrast. 

Choose to get your referrals from someone who knows their stuff and who can give truly unbiased opinions. Ideally, they’ll put the heavier emphasis on the work of the crew but general attitudes count too. You don’t want to end up with a crew who’s excellent at getting those tough shots but expect the director to bow down to their creative vision in return. Reach out to your community to see who knows whom. Look for people in the production department first, and then move onto other department heads, PAs, and fixers. 


Picking the first film crew you come across may cause you to second guess whether or not you made the right decision — even if you did make the right one! Look into the film commissions based on where you’re shooting, and start narrowing down the listings. You can usually use the production guides online to find everything from references to contact information to demos. Look for people who have proven success in what they do and a demonstrated commitment to safety.

Talk to those on your short list about their approach to downlinks, controllers, and even batteries. Just be careful to keep your expectations in check when it comes to opening up your options, lest you waste time. Make a list of your priorities and then start filling in the gaps based on the information you have. If it becomes too much of a time investment to get the answers, it’s time to move on. 


The best aerial filming crew is going to be busy, so give yourself enough time to coordinate schedules. It’s not unusual for a film crew to show up at a location ready to shoot without having done any research at all! If you expect a worthwhile film crew to be available at the drop of the hat, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Practically any location worth filming in likely has crews that are booked up well in advance. 

The best way to account for your timelines is to account for theirs. Don’t call if you can’t give hard dates for when and where you need them. An experienced, professional company will be flexible enough to handle extreme emergencies, but not constantly changing schedules or filming requirements. 


When it comes to any kind of aerial photography, it’s important to hire a company that takes compliance seriously. The FAA has some strict rules about who can fly where, and they change from time to time. The last thing you need is to end up in a legal battle because the drone you were using accidentally flew into a restricted space. You should also be assessing any potential environmental hazards prior to hiring the film crew to save everyone some time. 

Look for someone who can advise and guide you through each step of the process. Any film company worth their salt will be able to tell you about both federal and local guidelines, and point out any additional hazards you may have overlooked. Insurance should also be a major concern when you’re working with aerial cinematography equipment. No matter how skilled a crew may be, mistakes can happen. If you’re going to be flying anywhere near people or property, the film company should have insurance to cover any damage or injuries. 

Aerial film company in Charlotte, Helivision is committed to quality production for its clients.


Helivision’s Promise 

With more than 50,000 hours of aerial filming experience, Helivision is an aerial drone filming and cinematography company that understands what a production staff needs. We can fly anywhere in the United States, and we’re excellent at explaining local laws and ordinances to our clients. We bring the right backup equipment to minimize any schedule delays, and we fully insure and license our machinery for limited liability. Our HD Cineflex camera system ensures the right color, resolution, and lighting every time. If you’re looking for quality services that won’t leave a film high and dry, give us a call today


4 Industries Taking Advantage of Drone Technologies

Drone technology has become so accessible today that pretty much anyone who wants a drone can find a way to get their hands on one. While they sometimes get a bad reputation because they raise complicated questions, they’ve also been proven to provide insight to companies who want to expand their bottom line. At Helivision, we have fully embraced the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) direction aerial film services are going with the use of drone technology. In turn, we have helped a number of companies across many industries that would have previously never used UAV to market themselves and explore other production options. Find out more about the growth of drones, and how four industries are using the benefits of drones to their advantage. 

Aerial drone filming technology has become an important tool for many industries and even some unlikely ones.

The Rise of Drone Mapping 

The majority of companies who use drone technology are creating new maps every week. Not only do drones give unbiased data, they’re also allowed to film in restricted areas. By giving decision-makers a high-level overview of a situation, they can make quick and accurate judgments. Investors, analysts, CEOs, and managers are consistently using and sharing maps to drive profits, decrease risk, and identify flaws. (Drones have even created a new industry of their own, as more and more people become certified drone pilots so they can create these maps for data-hungry businesses.)

In most businesses, drones are used to cut down on both time and money for a company, but they can also be used for safety concerns as well. Construction companies use drones to scout dangerous locations, while utility companies can send drones into high-voltage areas after a storm to protect their workers. And even though it’s clear that there are still questions to iron out, the following sectors are proud to be early adopters of this technology. 


Real Estate

The use of drones for certain purposes is controversial today, but real estate has managed to skirt some of the stricter rules. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been busy trying to answer how drones should be used pretty quickly after they debuted on the market, but the FAA has also been extremely forgiving of real estate drones. This is because many of the properties that agents sell are either empty or have full permission from owners to conduct aerial filming services. This helps boost sales, which ultimately benefits the economy. 

Drones aren’t typically used to film general single-family homes where photos will do just fine to show off the rooms and backyard. But a multi-million dollar property is harder to showcase through photos alone. Drones are used to capture the larger properties, such as multi-acre ranches, mansions, or commercial land. Potential buyers have a better idea of what they’re getting into before they even visit a site. It can save countless hours of everyone’s time, and real estate companies have been pleased with the results of the drones — even though high-quality production footage can be very expensive. 

Aerial filming services with drones has opened the doors for many industries to better reach new clients and serve their customers.


Entertainment and News Media

The FAA has been less forgiving of media and entertainment companies that have tried to use drones to their advantage, but that doesn’t mean the door has closed for this industry. Drones are legal on a closed set at all times, and filmmakers can apply for special considerations. There are some companies who have worked with the FAA to receive exemptions for filming in other locations. Aerial drone filming is often meant to give the viewer the thrill of being ‘in’ the scene. A drone’s affordability potentially allows low-budget films to sidestep the more common negative hallmarks of independent movies, creating aerial cinematography that can delight the viewer. 

When it comes to media, news broadcasts now have a way to update viewers in real-time without the use of helicopters. Drones can show the state of traffic, follow high-speed chases, and provide coverage of major events. The New York Times famously used drone camera systems to get more aerial film footage of the Civil War in Syria. Drones can get into small areas too, which is excellent for capturing a close-up of a criminal’s face, or for proving a person’s guilt or innocence in a crime. Companies can now not only get more detailed footage, they can also save money by eliminating costly helicopter filming that can’t achieve the same level of detail as a drone.  

Helivision uses drones for aerial cinematography in entertainment productions.

Delivery Services

Companies that offer delivery see drones as the transportation method of their dreams. Domino’s has already performed their pizza delivery obligations in New Zealand without the use of a driver, and they have every intention of making this a worldwide service in the near future. While regulations and logistics are still barriers, it’s a service that has received a lot of positive press. It’s also received a lot of investment in the technology already.

Retailers, like Amazon and Wal-Mart, have their own lofty goals when it comes to revolutionizing delivery services, and hotels and resorts have already started delivering alcohol to their luxury customers. Businesses emphasize both the novelty and convenience of using a drone for their customers. The demand for better delivery services is undeniable, especially in rural areas where delivery is either slow or expensive. However, drones are usually only capable of making one delivery at a time, which raises practicality concerns for major retailers. Executives continue to puzzle out how to get their best ROI for their money. 



Farmers are in charge of so much land that it’s easy to miss problems until it’s too late. Damaged crops account for $1 billion in losses every year, but drones may be able to significantly reduce wasted food and income for farmers while providing lower costs to consumers. They give farmers a chance to adapt their strategy to obstacles that arise on the job. A drone can spot an area that’s not receiving enough water, which lets owners adjust their water usage before the crops die. If a new insect arrives on the scene, aerial filming will show the symptoms of the crops early so farmers can apply pesticides to their plants. 

Aerial drone technologies are helping farmers better manage their agriculture business.

Drones can also give farmers 3D maps that show exactly where to plant. They’ve helped take soil analysis to new heights, so farmers understand how to use their seeds and fertilizer to maximize production. Drones can even deliver the pods with seeds and nutrients to the soil, which cuts down on planting costs by an astounding 85%. 


Helivision owns and operates fully licensed and insured drones, our services extend far past the entertainment industry. Our drones have been used for real estate, land surveys, and even search and rescue. It’s our privilege and pleasure to have worked with these machines because they have opened the door to so many possibilities for our clients. We use the same expert helicopter pilots to operate the drones, and we only fly in accordance with the FAA regulated airways. Our packages make it easy to create custom solutions for our clients, regardless of what they’re looking to do.


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When it comes to producing major motion pictures and television shows, Hollywood usually comes to mind. However, since states started passing movie production incentives during the 1990s, production companies have received generous tax credits, cash rebates, grants and sales tax exemptions. The ability of film incentives to influence location decisions for filmmakers is undeniable. Two of those locations are in the Southeast, each with a different story – you could even call it “A Tale of Two Cities.”
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