Hey everyone and welcome to Drones for Newsgathering!
We are starting with introductions.
Pat uses drones for recreational use -- and wants to bring them into the newsroom.
If you're using drones for commercial use, you fall under Transport Canada regulations according to Langille.
If it's not 100 percent for fun, it's a commercial venture according to Transport Canada.
Regulations include distance you have to maintain from airports, etc.
If you're doing it for fun, you can do whatever. Commercial operators are therefore
usually the safer operators.
Recreation is becoming an issue, however, and there are a set of rules being considered by Transport Canada that any drone with a camera falls under regulations.
The US is far behind in regulations -- all commercial operation of a drone was illegal a couple years ago.
Though, if you were a big player, like Discovery Channel, they left you alone says Langille.
Transport Canada has made it easier for news orgs to get a flight certificate that is open -- flight certifications have to list what drone you have, what you're using it for, etc.
Before, you had to get a certification for each flight -- but now if you have proven yourself as a safe operator, you can get year-long certs.
Langille has been in IT all his life, and drone technology is the fastest moving technology he has ever seen.
The tech is constantly changing, so there are short lifespans -- don't expect your drone to be up to date for long.
If you apply for a certification, they give preference to pilots, although you don't have to be one to fly.
The journalism properties of drones are a great opportunity -- constant mentions of arial shots of a fire in Charlotte town, for example.
You need the movement of video, static shots from drones are cool but can get boring quick.
Another example -- a company in Dartmouth does safety training. A shot from a drone starts on the ground, moves up and shows people repelling down the wall.
The drone is a tool to tell stories -- you don't need rigging, you don't need a lift, you don't need a helicopter. It's cheap and unintrusive.
Irving uses it for PR b-roll footage to send out to media of a giant warehouse -- the video from the drone is 50 feet high.
Now showing footage from the Bedford Flooding -- incredible close shots of flowing water from above. You see the damage and the whole scene.
It's still just a tool, reiterates Martel. You still need to do journalism, talk to people, get a real story.
Transport Canada regulates what kind of shots you can get though. A shot over water is fine, no danger there. But you can't shoot a drone video over a crowd of people. You have to maintain a distance, and get a more angled shot of a crowd.
Recreational users have been to known to fly over a crowd -- a danger to everyone.
Llanelli says that he has never seen a good news story about the rules and regulations on drones. He says journalists get often get it wrong.
The media often plays illegal or unsafe drone footage sourced from recreational users you put video up on YouTube. It propagates unsafe usage.
In the States, you can't fly now in National Parks or around the Golden Gate Bridge due to unsafe use.
Like any evolving technology, people see drones like invasions of privacy.
Most drones have wide angle lenses, with little or no zoom -- if you're 50 feet from someone you really can't tell who they are.
People who see Langille flying drones often ask him if he's with the police, spying on them.
Langille compares drones to cameras on phones -- when the technology first came out, everyone was worried about cameras in the locker room, but now you don't hear anything about that.
Drones have a limit of 400 feet. Traditional aircraft have to be above 500 feet.