So, you've got a drone, you've got a license, you've booked a gig so what do you need to do now? In this blog, we look at the five most important drone safety considerations you need to have before you think about flying a drone for work. Everyone thinks production location planning is an easy task. You find somewhere perfect and you just send the drone up and go for it, right? Maybe in an ideal world - but this isn’t the case when it comes to flying drones commercially for production. It’s especially true when it comes to selecting a location where a drone can legally fly.

If you are planning to use a drone in your production to get some outstanding shots of the location, or just to add a unique perspective to your footage, here are some crucial things you need to consider before you take to the skies.

Safety first is a good phrase to live by when out on a production. Yes, getting an epic shot or piece of footage is crucial but not if it means sacrificing your drone safety! Let's be clear, drones in the wrong hands are dangerous - but, big BUT right there, drones can be safe and awesome when you have a smart drone operator.

It may seem like a bore or a touch pedantic but an expert drone operator will consider all these things before they set their drone soaring. If you have a drone safety savvy operator you will not only get amazing shots but you won't have to risk your neck for them either.


drone photography

Image by LA Media 

You Must Respect the Drone Danielson!

Take the wise words of Mr. Miyagi to heart! A typical misconception about drones is that they can go anywhere, right? True, to an extent, yes they can physically go most places, drones are very versatile and nimble but unless you want to find yourself in hot water with the law, here are key considerations for drone safety every production manager should consider before the day of the shoot. Just because you can fly it doesn't mean you should!

Cowboy drone operators will risk it, but if the CAA is notified you could find yourself under investigation for reckless flying or worse charged by the police for endangering the public. Drones are a serious piece of machinery, just because some can be bought cheaply as toys you shouldn't lower your guard when operating one as they can do damage.

Do you have production control over the required drone flying area?

The law is quite specific about this and covers people, property, and roads. If you have full control of these elements then you should be good to go flying. Make sure that you get a completed risk assessment form from the drone pilot in advance of your flying date. If you do not have full control then you will need a control method statement from the drone company. All drone flights should be operated within areas that are under the control of the production or which have been made safe using the practices suggested in the control methods statement.


drone photography of rail bridge: Drone safety tip, ensure you have correct permissions

Image by LA Media 

Buyer Beware: Is it legal and am I liable?

The drone company should advise you regarding the legal requirements of any flying you intend to undertake and investigate the nature of the airspace you are intending to fly. The drone company should make all relevant contact with CAA, NATS, and any air traffic control (military and civilian) that may be operating in the area you intend to fly and keep you informed regarding any issues.

IMPORTANT: One-man operations will often ask for production assistance when implementing control measures in a flying zone. Be aware that compliance with this request can create an insurance liability to the production.

Cleared for landing?

Does your location have safe landing and take-off areas for the drone operators to use? More importantly, is there an area that can be considered an emergency fly away zone should it be required? The drone company will advise you as to the suitability of any areas you might suggest for these purposes.


drone photography of Orkney

Image by LA Media 

Best laid plans

Where possible, and affordable, it is advised to take the drone operators out on a location recce with the production Director, DOP, production manager, and health and safety adviser.

Houston, we don’t have a problem!

It is critical when flying the drone that any pilot has ‘Line Of Sight’. They must see the drone clearly at all times when flying, no excuses! So, when considering locations it is important to anticipate any possible obstructions to the pilot's “Line Of Sight’. Obstructions can be as simple as trees, other buildings, a change in the ground levels when flying low and, most commonly, distance from the pilot.

This may seem obvious but it is worth saying, Drones become very small as they fly away from the pilot and even, therefore, become riskier when, and if, the drone disappears into the background they are flying against. Crossing in front of bright sunlight for example will be very challenging for most pilots.


drone photography of Edinburgh castle

Image by LA Media


Although this may seem a little scary, if you are working with a good and reputable drone operator they will help you through this experience and make it as straightforward as possible. If you keep these 5 key drone safety considerations in mind when picking your location you will avoid some of these easily made mistakes.

Check out the rest of our website to see some of the drone projects we've worked on and if you have any questions e-mail us at or just give us a call on 0131 622 0220.

If you enjoyed this blog don’t forget to follow us on: TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for your daily dose of media & drone chat!

Wishing you happy and safe flying!





LA Media has been flying drones for the last seven years. We’ve flown for Netflix shows, like The Crown and The Witcher, feature film productions, high-end commercials and have done lots of work for television broadcasters from all around the world. Check out our drone reels at or visit our YouTube channel to see what we do.


large drone and various screens for viewing in remote location

Now we are putting together a new drone set-up for 2021. It's a great and exciting project and our new package is the result of our extensive experience. We believe it will help keep us at the top of the drone tree and that it could also help you to get started.

Details of our new drone setup will appear in the following blog but meanwhile here are some of the things you should consider if you are about to go out on your own.

Buying a drone

Buy the drone you need (not the one you like). Spend a good deal of time considering what you want your drone set-up to do before you spend any money on it.

high end filming drone set-up

Creative filming, survey work, health and safety inspections, area mapping, emergency services… it's your decision. Remember - it will be an expensive disappointment if you buy a drone not fit for your purpose. 

Tell any retailer what you need it for and they should have the expertise to steer you in the right direction. Spend a lot of time looking at reviews of the drones you are considering and listen to what is being said. It costs you nothing but time and it all helps you make the best decision.

Octocopter drone sitting on grass


10 Things to consider

1. Camera - what camera does your drone carry? This will determine the quality of the picture you can offer a client and establishes the size and power of the drone you need to be flying. 

2. Interchangeable lens system - does your drone camera offer a choice of lenses? This is about being able to give a variety of choices to your client when it comes to shot options.

3. Flight time - how long can your drone stay in the air? Clients like to fly all the time so you must give consideration to flight durations and establish how many batteries you will need to buy should you want to fly a typical eight-hour day and include them in your drone set-up accordingly.

4. Recharge to recycle - will you need to recharge/recycle flight batteries during a shoot day? If the answer is yes, how will you do it? Adding a portable generator to your drone set-up is a great way of doing this but often requires a second person to monitor and operate it and can also be expensive.

5. Viewing the shot -  how will your client view the shots you are flying? While it can be a simple as looking over your shoulder at your controller device e.g. your phone, you may want to consider other means such as an HDMI cable feed from your controller (if it has one) to a separate client monitor. More spending for you but makes for happier clients.

6. File types and formats - what file types and formats can your drone camera deliver to the client? Often overlooked as a detail until the end of a day's flying it is an issue that can cause you real problems. The data transfer time of your shots should also be built into your flying schedule. You should know what file type is best suited to the client's post-production workflow and will the client bring you a drive to dump things onto or are they expecting you to supply one? You should ask all these questions before the flight day. The more file types and formats your drone can deliver the better for both you and your client.

7. Data Cards - always have plenty of spares as you may need to change them out if they get filled up. It's also good practice that before you perform any risky flight, such as over water, put a new card in. This makes sure that you do not lose any data in the event of a catastrophic incident occurring.

8. Take-off/landing pad - this is a great part of your health and safety protocol as it is easy to see and therefore those around you can avoid it without difficulty. It also gives you a dust-free platform and a safe flat surface when you are on ground that is uneven or overgrown - a most frequent occurrence on shoot days.

9. A Table - this may sound like a flippant tool but from our experience, it is a vital and practical part of a professional presentation. When it comes to how the client views your overall operation a good table provides you with a safe and clean working surface for your gear and it stops you from getting onto your knees and scrambling about in the mud.

10. Spares and parts - these will save your sanity on any shoot. I can guarantee you that things will break, go wrong, or just get lost when you are out flying. If you can afford it, as part of your drone set-up, you should always have a full set of spares and the tools you need to fit them with. Most pilots are now operating with a second, and even a third, back up drone, just in case.


Vulcan UAV Drone with remote controllers and camera attached


If you have any questions, or just want to learn more about what we do, e-mail us at [email protected] or check out the rest of our website.

There are those who would say a drone is always a drone, but in my opinion, if it isn’t flying then it's not doing what a drone should do.

DJI has developed and built an amazing array of aerial technologies for cinematographers to fly while at the same time they have developed spectacular cameras for these drones to carry. It seems rather shortsighted not to use these incredible cameras simply because the drone is not being flown.

drone flying over woodland, mountains in background

Recently we took the propellers off a DJI Phantom 4 pro, stuck it through the window of a car, secured the Phantom rig with safety tethers, held the rig by hand, and managed to get some fantastic, high-quality footage from its camera as we drove around the City of Dundee. Shots that, legally, may never have been flown.

Another occasion was a marketing company's request for high-quality stills showing the views of Edinburgh Castle from one of their city centre properties on George Street.  Sounds like a job for a drone but the challenges of the shoot lay in the fact that the location property was in the centre of Edinburgh. Interior work going on meant no access to the building's windows to shoot through and the client wanted high quality, printable views of Edinburgh Castle as seen from the varying heights of the six floors of the building involved.

A simple job that almost any drone could execute quickly and effectively. The drone would provide the remote camera control, stabilized pictures, and wireless viewing on the ground of the pictures being taken and most importantly a drone could be flown quickly and accurately to the various floor heights from which we wanted to take our pictures.

However, following an on-site visit, it was clearly evident that the location of the building meant that it would have been totally illegal and unsafe to fly a drone. So, we just had to come up with another feasible way of doing things while still taking advantage of everything else the drone and its camera proposition offered.

We decide to use our Inspire1 with its X5R camera as it provided solutions to most of the challenges we were facing. But in order to use the drone, but not as a drone, we had to come up with a way of getting the Inspire 1 up and down the exterior of the building safely, without flying it and taking our shots as we went along. The following is a brief step-by-step for what we came up with:

1. Take the props off the Inspire 1

2. Create a hanging harness to carry the Inspire 1

3. Put a secured jib arm on top of the building involved

4. Purchase lots of mountaineering ropes and belays

5. Feed this rope from the top of the building to the ground via a pulley system mounted on the head of the Jib

6. Connect the Inspire 1 hanging harness to the rope with more belays

7. From the top of the building, using the rope - pull the Inspire 1 up to the heights required

8. Take your picture when at the correct height

9. Repeat at the next height and so on until all shots have been acquired

10. Lower the Inspire 1 hanging harness back to the ground

11. Deliver shots to the client


This is a brief summary of our solution and I will not bore you with the in-depth details of our particular solution as there were many. Things I have assumed that any reader of this article should understand would require attention before executing this particular solution - hazard assessments, weight loading of ropes, breaking strains of belay fittings, communications at a distance, personnel involved, traffic control, anchoring points, overall health and safety…it is an unfinished and lengthy list.

The point I am trying to make is that when you look at a drone you should think of it as two parts: one - a flying platform, the other - simply a camera. Once the propellers are off the flying rig it can be held, mounted, or placed almost anywhere you would a traditional video camera. These cameras and lenses are expensive, so come on guys and gals let's make the most of them!


Visit our website and if you have any questions or think we got something wrong or simply want to let us know what we missed... e-mail us at or give us a call on 0131 622 0220

LA Media was delighted to be asked back for series two of The Crown, a widely popular show on Netflix. In season one of The Crown,  we were invited out to use our drones to capture upwards of 1000 stills for the visual effects team so that they could recreate a CGI version of the Royal Yacht Britannia for the series.

Well, we must have done something right because they were quick to get us back when they were back filming in Scotland.

Filming the Crown Season 2

Image by LA Media "All eyes on the drone's viewing monitor" 

vintage car on location of the Crown Season 2

Image by LA Media "Vintage car used filming Season 2 of The Crown" 


The LA Media team was part of the splinter unit, which sounds pretty ninja eh? We were tasked with using our drones to capture drone tracking shots of moving vehicles and scenic shots of the locations.

We filmed at Ardverikie  Lodge (AKA “Balmoral") where Her Majesty's character was staying, played by the talented Claire Foy.

Using the drones we also filmed the stunning vintage cars, the rugged Scottish mountains, the lochs, the rivers, and anything else that looked stunning and majestic. In Scotland that can be anywhere, you turn - we weren't short of options.

on location on season 2 of the crown

Image by LA Media "Ardverikie Lodge pretending to be Balmoral" 

drone filming on Season 2 The Crown

Image by LA Media "Setting up the drone shot at the Lodge" 


No Joke, Snow in April...

It started as a two-day shoot but ended up turning into a seven-day shoot. The reason for this was the weather! Typical Scotland, snow in April...because that's normal. The result was that on the first day of filming we were bathed in glorious Scottish sunshine with mild gusting winds. The trick for the sake of continuity was to match that weather and atmosphere at the next location.

Image by LA Media "Reshooting to accommodate the Scottish snow" 


Mother nature had other plans. We rocked up to the next location (Glen Feshie) to find it shrouded in thick white snow! It wasn't a gentle powder of snow either - no, it was nine inches of heavy snow. This meant that production had a big decision to make.

Do we go back and reshoot the first two days in the snow to make it match? Or do we wait for the snow to melt at Glen Feshie?

Image by LA Media "Our drone filming one of the vintage cars on the move" 

Image by LA Media "Setting up a drone shoot down by the river" 

The final decision by production was to go back to Ardverikie and refilm the scenes in the snow. However, on arrival, the snow was minimal and had thawed within an hour by the rain.

This meant the chase was on, going back and forth between the two locations until the snow had melted so much so that we could film at Glen Feshie mostly snow-free.


Stand and Deliver!

On the last day of production, our final drone shot was to be of a grouse hunt over the moors. How posh! This meant there were gun dogs, animal handlers, cast members, and blank gunfire on location. This was an expensive scene to shoot and we had to get it right.

Image by LA Media "One of the best boys on location, meet one of the many working gun dogs"


Makeup, wardrobe, unit techs, film crew, and various members of production that included us and our drones had to make it up to the location on a single track road.

To say it was busy would be an understatement. The director was pushed for time as he was heading off to catch a plane and we had less than an hour to get the drone shots needed. Like always we rose to the challenge and managed to accomplish these under great pressure.

Image by LA Media "Setting up for the grouse hunting scene" 

Image by LA Media "Prepping the gimbal with the Arri Alexa Mini"

Image by LA Media "Out in the wilderness preparing for another drone shot." 


Crossing the River

Due to the snow coming off the mountain, the river we'd planned to cross was in full flood. Already, one landrover had been lost to the river! Well, not quite it but it did have to be towed to safety. Going around wasn't an option and the production needed to reach the other side for a crucial shot. 

Image by LA Media "The all-terrain vehicle needed to cross the river" 


Understandably, we were anxious to transport our electronics and drones across the river. As we talked about before drones and water don't play well together.

Bumps and knocks can prove equally hazardous to a highly sophisticated drone-like our Vulcan Raven Heavy Lift. Drones aren't toys and need to be handled with care unless you want them to have a malfunction.

Packed snuggly inside of its custom-made padded box and strapped down we made it across safely and without incident. Crossing a river in full flood was never going to be easy and the moment of truth was on the other side when we successfully flew the drone.

Image by LA Media "Our Vulcan Raven Heavy Lift Drone" 

Image by LA Media "The big production camera from The Crown crew"

Image by LA Media "The many production vehicles" 


Final thoughts

This was an amazing production to be part of and we think you will enjoy the footage. As fans of The Crown we are doubly excited, firstly to see our work but second to see what happens this season. How will Phil and Liz cope with parenthood? What is this scandal people have been whispering about? We can't wait to see more of Claire Foy, John Lithgow, and Matt Smith, who are all doing a stellar job so far!

We'd like to thank everyone who made this possible and for all the care shown to us by the production team from London.


Client: Left Bank Pictures

Director: Stephen Daldry

Programme: The Crown for Netflix

Line Producer: Eve Swannell

Drone Footage: LA Media


Visit our website and if you have any questions - e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220

The whole LA Media team was utterly buzzing when we received a call from Alaska TV to come work with them on Channel Four's new four-part documentary series, 'Britain's Coastal Railways with Julie Walters'. This documentary will see Julie take the train for a magical mystery tour around our shores, getting lost in dramatic landscapes, uncovering surprising historical secrets and discovering how life really can be a beach.

This project would require us to travel all over Scotland and the North of England with our drone dream team. The project seemed like a seriously exciting job and the fact we got to work with such a legendary actress like Julie was just the icing on the cake!

drone photography by LA Media

Drone Photography By LA Media  


Trainspotting: Drones, Trains, and Maths

Most of our flying involved the drone team being in the right place at the right time. We had to time it to ensure that our drone was in the perfect spot to capture a specific train as it passed by.

Believe it or not, Trainspotting is much harder than you'd think. Without amazing office support and live-updates on the train schedule, we'd never have managed it. So we'd like to take a moment to appreciate our fantastic office based support team.

The goal was to film Julie travelling on the train through a particular bit of stunning countryside. So, in short, we had to estimate when the train would be at a certain point in the track and get the drone ready to meet it. It was right back to math class for us!

drone photography of via duct train by LA Media for Britain's coastal railways

Drone Photography By LA Media ‘Drone image of Glenfinnan Viaduct' 


Drones, Batteries and Other Hiccups

One minor hiccup we encountered on this shoot was when we tried to film The Jacobite steam train. You may know this train better from its break out role in the Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express. Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, this 84-mile round trip passes numerous impressive landmarks and jaw-dropping scenery.

We had to film the Jacobite using our drone as crossed the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Inverness-shire in Scotland. We had one chance to get this right or we'd have to face the production team without the goods in the can! We had a total Bart Simpson moment as we tried to calculate at what time the train would be in place.

illustration of Bart Simpson doing mental mathmatics

Actual image of LA Media trying to do the math


Once we established the best drone take-out time we gave ourselves a little extra time to be sure we were ready and waiting for the train. However, as with all best-laid plans - the train was not on time. It should have arrived by 10.01 but as late as 10.10 the train still hadn't chugged its way round the bend.


A Calculated Risk

We kept the drone in the air, hovering all the while watching the flight battery power running down. Eventually, we had to make the decision about changing the Inspire flight battery to avoid the drone performing a low power battery descent of its own accord.

The risk was obvious in that if we landed - would we miss the train crossing the bridge?  This was a one chance shot so we decided to go for the change of battery and take the risk.

The risk was obvious in that if we landed - would we miss the train crossing the bridge?  As previously mentioned this was a one-shot opportunity, we could hardly ask the train to back up and do it again! We decided to go for the change of battery and take the risk.

drone photography of road with car by LA Media

Drone Photography By LA Media 


It was one of the fastest battery changes we've ever done. To change the battery we had to return, land, change the battery, take-off again and then get back into holding position to film the train as it went over the viaduct.

Like a well-oiled seasoned Formula One pit crew we got that drone back in the air in the nick of time! Just as we got the Inspire in position we spotted The Jacobite breaking from the tree line and approaching the viaduct.


An Extra Spanner in the Works

You might have thought the white plume of steam from the train would have been a good indicator as to where the train was - but not today.

The steam was minimal as the train was traveling slowly in order to cross the viaduct safely and it was blowing only a translucent grey smoke from its funnel, which was almost impossible to see on our monitors.

However, all is well that ends well, and we captured a great developing shot of the train as it crossed over the Viaduct.

drone photography of via duct railway by LA MediaDrone Photography By LA Media  


And Finally...

Everyone we worked with on this shoot was amazing and we had a great time with the crew from Alaska TV.

Now you know what they say about not meeting your heroes right? Well, that couldn’t be less true in this situation! Julie was honestly a lovely, down to earth, endearing actress to work with.

She was even kind enough to pose for a picture with our director Justin on his birthday during the shoot. She also made time for her fans to sign autographs - they were thrilled to see her out and about in Scotland. She had a great disposition no matter what the Scottish weather threw at us! We'd love to work with her again.


Visit our website and if you have any questions, e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220

Tommy's Honour is out now in the UK cinemas and LA Media was extremely proud to produce some outstanding drone footage for this BAFTA award-winning film. We are thrilled that our drone footage is being shown on the big screens across the UK.

We knew when we participated in the project that director Jason Connery was creating something special that showcases Scotland's rich golf heritage.

Watch the trailer below and see if you can spot the drone shots!

Drone Footage by LA Media 'Tommy's Honour Trailer' 

For those not in the know, Tommy’s Honour is a historical Scottish drama that depicts the tumultuous lives, relationships and careers of the Scottish golfing champions Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom Morris, portrayed by Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden respectively.

Not only is it a compelling tale of a complicated father and son but you will be treated to stunning views all around Scotland.

The whole LA Media team were lucky enough to attend the Scottish premiere of Tommy's Honour and believe us the drone footage belongs up on the big screen.

LA Media Team Attending Tommy's Honour Scottish Premiere

Image by LA Media ' Attending the Scottish Premiere of Tommy's Honour' 


The drones really captured the majesty and beauty of the Scottish scenery. Our drone shots were chosen for the opening and closing scenes, which of course made us feel rather special (blush!).

Previously, we took you behind the scenes on this shoot and shared with you what it was like to work with director Jason Connery. Connery is the son of legendary Scottish Actor Sean Connery.

If you're a golf fan or just love a good Scottish drama we would recommend highly that you go see it for yourself in the cinema.


Visit our website and if you have any questions, e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220


LA Media was thrilled to be asked once again by MTP, one of Scotland's leading commercial production companies, to come out and do some exciting drone filming. We were asked to film the aerials for a new action-adventure promotion for bottled water brand Highland Spring.

This involved us flying two drones simultaneously in the air. One drone was to be chasing a fearless stuntman over lumpy and treacherous terrain while the other drone was busy catching the train in motion as it crossed the famous and historical Glenfinnan viaduct at the same time. No small feat!

We also worked with the London agency’s visual effects people to achieve a shot from above where the stuntman leaped from a great height onto a green screen inflatable landing area.

This shot would eventually composite to make it look as if the stuntman had jumped onto the moving train we had filmed earlier. Milk Tray Man eat yer heart out!

This shoot was all about timing. We had a narrow window of weather, train availability, and non-gusting winds in which to achieve a series of complex shots.

Drone screen grab from Highland Spring Ad

Image by LA Media  'Drone Filming at Glenfinnan Via Duct'

The Challenges: Two Drones One Train!

On this shoot, the challenges were that we had to fly two drones in the same airspace at the same time without the pilot having a line of sight to each other. So we could see the drones but the two pilots couldn’t see each other. You see how that was a problem. We just had to be extra careful and put more control measures in place.

Getting to the location where they wanted us to fly from was no picnic either. We started on a road below the viaduct and climbed a meandering rough path (over water at times) to reach a sort of base camp.

From this base camp, we went on further up the hills to various locations traveling over bumpy, muddy, boggy-ridden terrain. It was no fun believe us.

At one point Justin vanished up to his knees in a sinking cold bog and had to be rescued by his fellow team members, no easy task! We could have used a few Sherpas and donkeys.

However, the production company we worked with was truly amazing. They did the bulk of the carrying and were helpful in keeping us going. The rain was persistent, the wind was billowing and the train was on a schedule with narrow windows of one hour time for its availability.

Drone screen grab from Highland Spring Ad in Glenfinnan

Image by LA Media 'Drone Filming at Glenfinnan' 

Get that Drone a Sweater!

You may not know this about drone batteries but they don’t like the cold and it was freezing. This meant shorter flight times and more battery changes, which ultimately meant more stress for everyone! Oh, the glamour of show biz!

Despite the weather, the location, and the batteries having a hissy fit we nailed the shots and the production were delighted with the final product.

Fourth Time's the Charm!

So before we rocked up on location three other drone companies had tried and failed (melted their drones) by attempting to fly through the steam of the train! It was -as they say - Scorchio!

Armed with this knowledge of previous attempts we selected our flight path very carefully through the steam. However, it was still a hair-raising experience but luckily our drone survived.

Drone screen grab from Highland Spring Ad Glenfinnan Steam Train

Image by LA Media 'Drone Filming at Glenfinnan Via Duct'


It's Going to Be a Bumpy Ride...

Owing to the terrain we couldn’t land the Inspire 1 on the ground. The Vulcan Raven was OK because it had its own landing platform wherever it went. But with the Inspire 1, we resorted to hand launch and hand recovery.

Here’s a handy tip, when recovering by hand make sure you don’t cover up the landing sensors which lower the landing gears. If you do happen to do this you run the risk of having your finger crushed by the landing gear winding mechanism.

Justin found this little handy tip out the hard way and nearly lost his thumb in the process.


Client: Highland Spring

Agency: Whitespace

Production: MTP

Director: James Brown

Creative: Neil Walker

Drone Pilot: Peter Maughan

Gimbal operators: Justin Adams / Iain White

Location: Glenfinnan Viaduct

Big Star: The Steam Train


We hope you enjoyed this blog post! Don’t forget to follow us on: TwitterFacebook and Instagram for your daily dose of media & drone chat!

Visit our website and if you have any questions, e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220

LA Media was chuffed to be asked by ITV Studios to film drone footage for their landmark drama The Loch. The Loch is a six-part murder mystery thriller starring Laura Fraser (Houdini and Doyle, The Missing, Peter & Wendy), Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Benidorm, Downton Abbey), and John Sessions (Upstart Crow, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Rack Pack). You watch the trailer here and already spot some of our shots.

Image by LA Media  'Drone photography of Carn Mohr' 


This is an exciting project which was supported by Creative Scotland’s Production Growth Fund. The drone filming took place over a number of days last Autumn in Scotland's majestic Highlands.

If you watch the series you will be able to spot many iconic Scottish backdrops such as the rugged valley of Glencoe, the forking paths of Carn Mohr Mountain, and the deep mystical waters of Loch Ness.

Image by LA Media  'Drone photography of Loch Ness' 


Of course, this means our poor drone team had to ascend all these heights lugging their equipment. Luckily there was help at hand from the ITV crew.

LA Media used its Inspire 1, mounted with a 5XR Camera to capture the shots needed. We had to get lots of action shots while ensuring that we also featured the stunning Scottish scenery.

It was a really awesome experience working with the ITV team and everyone else who was involved with filming.


We hope you enjoyed this blog post! Don’t forget to follow us on: TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for your daily dose of media & drone chat!

Visit our website and if you have any questions, e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220

LA Media's drone team was recently booked by David Taylor Production Services to use our drones to film Eilean Donan Castle. The client in question was soft-drink giant Schweppes. Working alongside a Spanish crew and Norwegian director we brought our Scottish drones to the mix to help bring together this project.

The Location

It simply doesn't get more iconic or more Scottish than Eilean Donan Castle.  Eilean Donan is world-renowned as one of the most scenic and historic Highland castles.

Nestled in the very heart of Scottish history the castle is located on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet. Surrounded by traditional Scottish scenery, it's little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited attractions in the Highlands.

Drone Filming at Eileen Donan Castle by LA Media

Image by LA Media 'Drone Filming at Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland'


Originally built in the 6th century, it became the first fortified castle to be built in the mid-13th century and stood guard over the lands of Kintail. Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries.

When you stand there on the location you can't help but get a real sense of history. It's hard not to be impressed by the castle. With majestic backdrops and moody ever-changing skies, it's basically a photographer's dream!

The mission!

The director wanted to capture the beauty of the castle at sunrise and sunset, which meant a 5 am call time! It was a very long shoot day but we did get a mini siesta between flights.

This was a heavy lift job and required ultras prime lenses on an Arri Alexa Mini recording at 4K. The flying rig was a SKYJIB octocopter with a Movi 15 gimbal.

LA Media Drone Filming at Eilean Donan in Scotland

Image by LA Media ' Drone Filming at Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland' 

The shoot

It was surprisingly cold at 5.00am and the day's weather featured sporadic rain all day long. This resulted in the usual conflict between client and pilot, deciding whether it was in fact raining or not....this happens more often than you'd believe.

It is an understandable conflict, the client wants value for their money and the drone in the air while the pilot has the responsibility of deciding if it is safe to fly or not. After all, if the drone comes down the responsibility will lie solely on the operator.

Even if the rain is a light mist you still risk a major catastrophic failure in flight. It can be torture for the ground crew: we're in the perfect location with the right backdrop but not the right weather.

But rain is rain, water plus delicate electronics simply isn't safe and our pilot Pete did a great job of sticking his guns. In the end, we waited and but got the shot safely. The client was still happy at the end of the shoot and we flew our rig safely.

Drone filming at Eilean Donan castle in Scotland, Vulvan Raven Heavy Lift Drone

Image by LA Media 'Drone Filming at Dusk at Eilean Donan Castle'

Rainy Loopholes

With misting rain and sporadic showers, you will often find there is a small break in the rain. That break is your window - you will be able to get the drone up and get the shot your client wants without being dangerous.

The most difficult aspect of this shoot was that the castle had been double booked! As we've mentioned the castle is a popular highland destination but is also a highly sought-after wedding venue.

This meant that we had to get in and get our drone shots without disturbing the wedding that was happening at the venue! Luckily everything went smoothly - and without a hitch - and we had a happy client.

Drone Filming in Scotland at Eileen Donan Castle

Image by LA Media 'Drone Filming at Eilean Donan Castle'

There's no I in TEAM!

We'd like to extend big thanks to David Taylor who did a great job on location and looked after us very well. We'd also like to thank Pete Maughan (drone pilot) and Richard Elliot (gimbal operator) who both did outstanding work on this shoot.


We hope you enjoyed this blog post! Don’t forget to follow us on: TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for your daily dose of media & drone chat!

Visit our website and if you have any questions, e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220