Up In The Air: Aerial Cinematography

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Natasha Skoryk looks up at the sky and finds out more about the state of the aerial cinematography industry in South Africa.

Once upon a time, getting the perfect aerial shot required a fully-trained pilot to go up in a plane or helicopter and film from above. Drones are changing this landscape dramatically – you simply no longer need a pilot, helicopter or plane to shoot above ground, but it is not easy to become a certified drone operator. “If you want to be a legal operator, you need to acquire a ROC (RPAS Operating Certificate),” says FC Hamman, a leader in the field and owner of FC Hamman Films. “This consists of five different licenses and nowadays it will take about two years to jump through all the hoops,” he explains.
Tammy Green, from Big Bird

Films operating under UAV Industries, expands on the bureaucracy: “The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) have set laws for all drones flying in South Africa’s airspace. In order to fly commercially, the company is required to have a few different licenses in place, which include the following: The Air Service License (ASL), Remote Operators Certificate (ROC), Certificate of Registration (CofR),  Remote’s Pilot’s License (RPL) and the Release to Service (RLA). In addition to having these licenses in hand in order to operate legally, drone operators are also required to follow additional by-laws, which includes having approval in place from the necessary authorities.

Continue reading in Issue 7 of Callsheet, here:

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