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Shooting for a School Marching Band
619 15 2017-10-26
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BradM
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Flight distance : 866 ft
United States
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I have been asked to shoot a rehersal session for a high school marching band on their school property.  I am 107 certified, insured, operating under my LLC.  What additional information should I obtain?  I'm assuming I need permission from a school official.  Would the marching band leader/teacher/advisor be suffcient?
2017-10-26
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Get it in writing, so you can present your defense! ;-)

Yes, contact all who may need to know, well beforehand.


RedHotPoker
2017-10-26
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Hellsgate
Captain
Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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I would also concider getting the school to send out a news letter to those involved.
As some parents may not want their children to be filmed.
You can never be to careful nowadays.
As far as the school official i would go no lower than the principle of the school to start with.
2017-10-26
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Irate Retro
Second Officer
United States
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Hellsgate Posted at 2017-10-26 13:15
As some parents may not want their children to be filmed.

Oh come on.  If you go out there marching on a football field in a cute uniform in front of an audience, you're going to be filmed by 100+ people whether you like it or not.
2017-10-26
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Hellsgate
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Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-10-26 13:23
Oh come on.  If you go out there marching on a football field in a cute uniform in front of an audience, you're going to be filmed by 100+ people whether you like it or not.

This is a rehersal not a live football game
2017-10-26
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Hellsgate
Captain
Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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Do you really think that you would get away with taking photos of children in a public park for very long.
Wake up retro we live in a real world here.
Its doesnt hurt to get permission first.
2017-10-26
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Irate Retro
Second Officer
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Hellsgate Posted at 2017-10-26 13:35
This is a rehersal not a live football game

True, but that still doesn't make sense with respect to the parents' issue you raised above.  The "children" are going to be filmed at the performance so if the parents don't want that occurring, they don't want it occurring.  It matters not whether it's a rehearsal or performance.   A marching band isn't the place to be camera shy.  Nor any performance group, for that matter.

As for a creepy guy filming children in a park, that's completely different.  But to answer your question, I'd get away with it for as long as I wanted to, because there aren't any laws against that here.  I do hear occasional police trips on the scanner for such incidents (camcorder/phone filming, fortunately never drone-related) but there's nothing the police can do about it except run the guy to make sure he doesn't have warrants and is not a registered offender.
2017-10-26
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Cetacean
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Flight distance : 2397178 ft
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United States
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Aloha Brad,

     Because your flight involves a high school full of minors, there is an extra layer of "discussion, resolution and authorization" needed.  This will involve written information (notice sent home with band members to parents for signature or no involvement) as noted by Hellsgate.  But band members are usually one step of responsibility above normal high school students (unless you watch movies made for their shock value) so such a step is a standard for band members.

     As for authorization from the school, a "Letter of Authorization" signed by the Principal and the band program director would be in order.  In the letter should be included reference and directions for viewing the returned authorizations from the parents.

     Finally, to win the parents over, make a video of at least three volunteers (probably adults) who want to help and film them in 4K at various distances.  Ground level that shows they are easily identifiable at a distance of 50 feet or so, like normal band videos.  Then go up to 50 feet altitude at the same distance (45 degree angle) and stablize so the video can try to show features of the volunteers.  Then repeat at 75 feet and 100 feet at a minimum.  Add more distances as indicated by your results.

     Post this video on your YouTube channel so parents can see what their child looks like at these distances, so each shot has to have the distance clearly noted.  The link to thes video should be included in the letter sent home to the parents for their signature.  This will allow parents to decide what altitude you should fly at to video their child if it is a concern.  They will let the school (usually the band director) know.

     Most likely, because their children are performers and being on camera is normal for their child, this will not be a problem (but it is an opportunity for some of the public to see how the best is not good enough to spy with.)  You can also use this demonstration for your clients so they can understand the capabilities you offer.

     There are no exclusions or issues from the FAA as to what you are doing because it is well within the Pt. 107 rules.  Parents regularly sign waivers for their children to be filmed as band members.  If there is a problem after the fact with a particular child / parent, the child's face can be blocked out digitally.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-10-26
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Hellsgate
Captain
Flight distance : 1991555 ft
Australia
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Half the issue is that your not only dealing with the parents there is a multitude of people involved in this including the kids the teachers the school board government regulations and faa regs about flying over a school etc etc the list goes on and it only takes one person to complian and as im sure youve seen in the news that everyone else tends to jump on the band wagon if they see they may be able gain something out of it.

Better to cross your Ts and dot your Is prior to taking on this type of job
2017-10-26
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Irate Retro
Second Officer
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BradM-  You said you "have been asked" to do this filming, but then you go on and make it sound like nobody on the staff knows about it yet.  I'm curious who asked you to film the rehearsal if it wasn't staff?  I can't imagine that rehearsal footage would be remotely interesting to anyone but the band director(s)?  Back in my marching band days it would have been extremely helpful to have top-down footage, but that was way back before aircraft were invented.
2017-10-26
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-10-26 14:17
BradM-  You said you "have been asked" to do this filming, but then you go on and make it sound like nobody on the staff knows about it yet.  I'm curious who asked you to film the rehearsal if it wasn't staff?  I can't imagine that rehearsal footage would be remotely interesting to anyone but the band director(s)?  Back in my marching band days it would have been extremely helpful to have top-down footage, but that was way back before aircraft were invented.

Whaaat?!?!
Arch you are that old...you were in HS before aircraft were invented......that was like circa 1903, I'm thoroughly impressed that you seem that spry for as old as you must be...


Could not pass that one up...
2017-10-26
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Genghis9
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United States
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From my experience working with youth, we are always required to get releases for any kind of image capture and for any kind of activity that has some risk.
In this case the taking of imaging is obvious, the later is one of judgement, as long as there is the remote possibility that a drone could malfunction and fall, crash, or hit someone then getting a signed permission slip that explicitly spells out the risks is and would be prudent.  However, it wont exonerate you from liability either, that is where having liability insurance comes in to play.
At the end of the day it's about one giant CYA...
2017-10-26
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Kuya Kano
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Flight distance : 797913 ft
United States
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Ask someone in the Percussion section for permission.  Why?   BECAUSE DRUMMERS RULE!!!   hahaha, but no, seriously... get permission from one of the school administrators and the band director.
2017-10-26
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DJI Susan
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As you mentioned,  it is necessary to get the permission from the school official. Under the premise of safety, they can negotiate with the parents for better understanding.
2017-10-26
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BradM
New
Flight distance : 866 ft
United States
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Hi All,

Thank you all for the great ideas and advice.  Here's where I stand. I have spoken with the Principal, Music Director, and Activities Director of the high school.  They informed me that all the parents of the marching band students had to sign a waiver at the beginning of the school year saying that they will allow photography of any kind for the marching band which includes all performances and rehearsals.    I provided the school administrators with my standard property and model release forms for approval and they all felt that these forms should be signed at the district level.  So, the project is in limbo waiting on the district's approval.
2017-10-27
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Genghis9
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United States
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BradM Posted at 2017-10-27 12:52
Hi All,

Thank you all for the great ideas and advice.  Here's where I stand. I have spoken with the Principal, Music Director, and Activities Director of the high school.  They informed me that all the parents of the marching band students had to sign a waiver at the beginning of the school year saying that they will allow photography of any kind for the marching band which includes all performances and rehearsals.    I provided the school administrators with my standard property and model release forms for approval and they all felt that these forms should be signed at the district level.  So, the project is in limbo waiting on the district's approval.

Sounds like you are doing your due diligence as best you can...the rest is just the problems with dealing with a bureaucracy, there is never a short supply of red tape.
2017-10-27
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