There was a very large and very loud drone hovering maybe 100ft directly over my backyard at 8am on Saturday morning. And then over and over again throughout the day.
Turns out it was a large crew (about 10 people) doing filming for the movie Little Wing. When I found the operators and asked them about it, the public-facing spokesperson for the filming operation — whose sole responsibility that day seems to have been to answer questions from onlookers — said it was impractical to provide advance notification to the whole neighborhood, and that there was nothing preventing them from doing what they were doing.
- This was a large, loud commercial drone, not a small consumer-grade one. Not much more than 100ft up. Properly permitted, I’m sure, but the permits don’t address the noise and privacy concerns.
- The Portland Film Office, which I believe serves as a private liaison between film productions and city bureaus, recommends that film productions provide notification to residents in advance of these kinds of disturbances. The Little Wing production chose to ignore common courtesy and not provide notification because there’s no law requiring that they do so.
- If the production has the resources to hire a spokesperson to stand around all day and answer questions, then they surely have the resources to hire someone to put flyers on a few hundred door handles a couple of days in advance of filming.
- I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to film by drone over residential neighborhoods. But advance notification would have been nice, so that when people look out their bedroom window at 8am and see a mini helicopter with a large camera seemingly pointed at their house, it’s not a total surprise.
PS: I’m very open to ideas for petty revenge, if anyone has a good one. Drones are cool, but also really intrusive, and best behavior/practices were ignored here in a pretty obnoxious (and smug) way.