Drones offer quite a few new possibilities for events. Not only do they make great aerial shots you can also use them to improve the security of your event, or even as part of the show. In this eventplanner TV episode, I talk to drone pilot, Seppe Koop, about what you can do with drones in your event.
Hi, Seppe. Welcome to our studio.
I think it’s quite obvious what we are going to talk about. It’s drones and the possibilities in events. What can you use it for in an event?
In events, of course, the first thing with a device like this is you go up and you make nice pictures or nice video shots.
So you have the ability to go quite high. In Belgium, we can fly up to 90 meters or 300 feet. So you have a nice overview of all the people that are there, the total situation, actually.
Yes. And besides just making images… I see for example, Amazon is experimenting with delivering packages.
It would be a great idea to get your beer delivered by a drone.
Yes, that’s indeed, an idea that was put to action a couple of years ago by somebody. That guy wanted to make an app where you could order your beer while you were standing in between the people. That you didn’t have to go to the bar to get your beer. So that was very nice. The drone would fly over to you and would present you your beer and that was… If you had ordered one using the app. But legislation made that impossible. Or makes this still impossible in Belgium, to drop things. We’re not allowed to drop something.
And it’s only in Belgium?
It’s in most European countries, but in Belgium it’s also in the legislation. So I don’t know why but they don’t like things flying off drones in Belgium, I suppose.
What I also did see, on YouTube, was a video where drones were used in… well, it was not one drone, it was a bunch of drones, to make a light show in the air, replacing fireworks. Is that also a future for drones in events?
I think so. It’s a very nice feature of drones. There are a couple of hi-tech German companies, offering these services. Drone choreography, you can call it, I suppose.
It’s very difficult. It’s not for a normal drone operator, to be able to do that. But there are some very clever guys that are making hi-tech positioning systems. And they can really make drones position themselves very accurately. So they can make them dance and they add extra lights and they can really turn these kinds of machines into show elements.
Okay, that’s nice. If I want to rent something like this for making some pictures on my event… For example, a festival, as an organizer, what do I need to look for? Can everybody come over and make some pictures with a drone?
No, of course not. There is quite strict legislation for flying these machines. You have to ask your operator, a certain amount of documents. He has to have a drone license in Belgium, he has to have a drone that has a homologation for Class 1A flights. He has to have an insurance document, of course, and a medical. He has to be medically in order but normally, when he has his license, he has a medical also. That’s fine. And of course, it’s a good idea to ask if he has experience with doing events. And you can ask some images that he made before or some video footage to check if he does what you want him to do later on.
And besides that, I think you make some agreements with this drone pilot, on what exactly you want to shoot.
Yes. If there’s a director, for instance, he’s going to brief you on the kind of images you want. Normally, we try to keep away from the people and we fly, let’s say at the borders of the event.
Why? Is it so dangerous to fly over?
It’s not that dangerous but when there’s a mechanical problem with the machine, it’s going to fall on a person. When there are only persons on the ground that’s not… I mean, that…
You definitely will have a hit.
That will be a hit, yes. And in an instant, it’s not usually dangerous but let’s say, some cuts or when it hits an eye, that’s not a good idea of course. And when you fly around the event, we can still make very nice images. Because we can point the camera to the action and we can move the camera about. So that’s very nice. And when we have a mechanical problem, it will go down somewhere on the grass. And that’s a better idea than on a person, of course.
Yes. You’re talking about a camera. As a pilot, do you steer both the drone and the camera?
With small drones, some people do this but in my opinion, it’s a bad idea. One, for safety. So it’s better that the pilot is looking to the machine all the time and flying the drone all the time. Also, to respond to an emergency, when that would happen.
Secondly, the quality is going to be better when you have a cameraman that is totally focused on the image. So it’s always a team, pilot and cameraman and they communicate. When they want to do a shot, the cameraman is going to say, okay, I want to do this kind of shot. I need that altitude, I need that speed. And then you’re going to work as a team. And the shot is much, much better than when you fly it alone and the operation is much safer. So always a team, in my opinion. Yes.
Okay. Seppe, thank you very much for coming over.
And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.