Video:

Aerial Drone Video at Neston Market: Sun Leisure

Posted on December 19, 2018

We were recently approached by Sun Leisure, who wanted a video to promote the company’s pop-up gazebos.

Having seen some of our drone videos on social media, Sun Leisure wanted us to use our drone to get some cinematic aerial footage of the gazebos located at Neston Market. This would be used to create a one-minute promotional video, and to capture some photography of the gazebos to be used for the company website.

What seemed like a simple task was, in fact, very complicated due to needing the permissions of the land owners in order to film. This is something you have to do in order to comply with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations, and what has been laid out in our OA (Operations Manual).

The OA is a document we have produced in order to achieve our CAA licence, which is required to operate a drone for commercial work in the UK.

Permission had to be sought from Neston Council, and they needed to be satisfied that Engage Web had the necessary expertise to safely perform the task, as well as the necessary public liability insurance. They were also concerned about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) as we would be operating something that is, in essence, a surveillance drone equipped with a 4K camera.

We produced our flight-plan for the shoot, conducted a full pre-site survey and risk assessment (something else required under CAA regulations) and submitted all of this information for the council’s approval.

After providing the necessary reassurances, and that we would have suitable signage and a secluded take-off and landing site away from the public, we were given the go ahead.

Drone shoot at Neston Market

The final hurdle was the timing of the shoot, and the weather. The market operated once a week, on Friday mornings, and was, of course, weather dependent. The drone cannot operate in extreme cold, high winds or any sort of rain – something which is rather prevalent in the UK.

Eventually, a date was agreed and the weather was checked on a daily basis to ensure the flight was possible. We use a Norwegian website for this as it provides the most accurate weather forecasts, broken down by hour, with long-term predictions.

Typically, the drone provoked a lot of interest among the market stall holders, with questions about how high it can go, how fast it can go and why am I filming them in the first place. Everyone was really friendly and talkative, something that probably goes hand-in-hand with the market trader line of work.

Most of the footage was achieved directly after sunrise, before the market became busy. In order to minimise any risk to the public, I made sure to finish filming before the market entered its full swing – this one of the risk mitigation factors on my risk assessment.

The video was edited using Adobe Premier, and was preceded with some footage shot during the market set-up with the Sony NEX (or, as I now call it, the ‘ground camera’). This helped tell the story of how the gazebos are easily set up before sunrise, and how the market comes to life afterwards.

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