Having carried out lots of infrastructure work in southern England over the past few years but v little creative filming, I was thrilled to be asked by Finestripe Productions in November 2020 to film Bond Street in London from the air for a forthcoming TV production.

Obtaining permission to do this would normally be impossible unless the street had been completely closed, for example as a set for a feature film, but since England was in Lockdown 2 at that point, I felt it might be possible & sought the assistance of Adam Bailey of EK Digital, a friend & past infrastructure colleague based in London.

Adam managed to achieve permission from NATS (National Air Traffic Services) & both the Metropolitan & diplomatic police to unlock the restricted airspace above Bond Street, our client arranged for the notification of all the building occupiers below our pre-agreed flight paths, & after waiting a few days for the weather, we finally took to the skies on the last day of the lockdown.

To maximise line of sight & minimise potential signal interference from buildings & bounced radio frequency radiation etc, our take-off locations were all from the tops of roofs at various points along Bond Street, & given the unique circumstances of this shoot & the difficulty of obtaining permission to fly, we future-proofed the footage by filming in both H264 & ProRes 4444HQ, both in Log. We had 2 spotters at street level throughout all of the filming as an additional & required safety measure.

The team during our lunch & data transfer break - lockdown meant we weren’t allowed to sit inside cafes.

CAA approved for aerial work, PFCO company number 532, FAA number 4242184

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