From last minute requests to shoot in restricted areas to requests to fly over traffic, the photo team at Small Giants has managed to make what might seem as impossible piloting happen on many occasions.


With more and more innovative drone technologies continuing to surface, it’s a no brainer for companies to desire visual greatness on project pieces and marketing videos. We fully support commercial real estate footage that pushes the limits, but always ensure that our methodologies meet the safety and legal standards of the Federal Aviation Association (FAA).


If the hundreds of articles and reports on FAA rules and regulations have not engrained in companies yet that they should be concerned over the legality of their drone operations, they best get with the times! As an informed resource, we happily relieve clients of those worrisome duties. But, if we’re being honest here, which we are, being informed takes a lot of hard work.


In 2016, Brianna Nessler, became the first female, Section 333 exempt drone pilot to specifically specialize in Phoenix’s commercial real estate industry. The exemption, which made her drone endeavors legal, required a strenuous application process that took months. Since then, Part 107 certification has become an option. It provides companies with opportunities to more easily access air spaces that are normally very difficult to get permission to fly in. Alyssa Weeks, videographer, is currently participating in a 12-part course to prepare her with aeronautical knowledge for the test. When she passes, Small Giants will be one of very few companies with full and legal flight permission.


We spend a lot of time knowing the rules so as to avoid sticky situations. For instance, that flight over an intersection mentioned above is a fairly requested shot, and if carried out can earn companies a fine of up to $200,000. A flight close to an airport without proper permission and certification can earn individuals a fine over $1 million! Without the know-how, companies risk licensure, liability, property damage, reputation and having to pay fines. No one has time for that.


Not only does our team complete jobs safely and legally, but we understand the importance of needing to capture construction milestones and do our absolute best to accommodate rush requests. For example, Brianna and Alyssa created a marketing video for Eastmark, a large-scale community in Mesa that is located one mile away from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, in just three business days. In another case, a construction client wanted to go above and beyond for a pursuit and hired Small Giants to survey the site for any potential issues that may arise during construction. The flight, which took place two miles away from the airport, was executed in two business days and the video was fully delivered in three.


If your company is considering self-capturing footage, we recommend connecting with one of our specialists first. Find “Small Giants Video” on Vimeo to view our work and connect with us.


Read other articles from our latest Giant Life magazine here.

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