Miami Beach

‘Real Housewives’ producers want to use drone copter to film in Miami Beach

A new season of The Real Housewives of Miami is on the way — and so is a whole new way of filming it.

A producer of the Bravo reality series told The Miami Herald that a third season is in the works. This time, they want to include aerial shots taken with what is essentially a drone: a small, unmanned flying device.

“We’re giving it a lot of thought,” said Max Sklar, acting assistant city manager. He said it’s the first time the Beach has gotten such a request.

Cooper Green — vice president of Purveyors of Pop, the company producing the new season — said the technology has been used on film sets for 15 years, and that his company has used the technology to film an upcoming series, Married to Medicine.

“They’re used in the same way traditional helicopters are used — to gain B-roll shots,” Green said. “This is not a part of everyday shooting.”

But unlike helicopters, unmanned flying devices are “less intrusive. They don’t cause as much noise and they’re much smaller and therefore safer,” Green added.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration wouldn’t comment specifically on the technology proposed to be used by the Real Housewives crew, but said that: “Current regulations prohibit commercial operations of unmanned aircraft, which means basically that if money is changing hands ... then it’s prohibited.”

An advertisement sent to the city shows that the company CopterX charges $4,500 a day to use two flying devices with cameras attached.

Taylor Chien — who, according to an email forwarded to city officials is affiliated with CopterX — did not return emails for comment.

“We don’t deal with the FAA,” Green said. “We’re a television production company.”

The device that CopterX uses weighs about 14 pounds and has 6-inch props, according to an email to the city of Miami Beach. The company’s website includes a long list of credits, claiming to have shot for movies such as Transformers and S.W.A.T., car companies such as Ford and Nissan, and television’s Discovery Channel, SpikeTV and CBS.

“I think this needs to be considered in larger aspects than just film use,” Graham Winick, a film and event production manager for the city of Miami Beach, wrote in an email to city staff. “I believe this has abuse and endangerment potential and think we need to consider what conditions and requirements we might place on it, if we allow at all.”

In his email, Chien cited a number of safety precautions taken by his company. For example, he said, his copters “come with fail-safe features so that it will never just fall out of the sky” and that he carries $2 million in insurance for injuries or property damage.

Sklar, the acting assistant city manager, said the matter would be handled administratively by city staff.

Miami Herald staff writer Maddy Marr contributed to this report.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury

    LONDON (AP) – The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday.

  • Man accused of stalking singer John Rich warned

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Nashville judge has issued a stern warning to a man accused of stalking country music singer John Rich.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Ex ‘Ice Road Truckers’ star faces felony charges

    Well, this reality star didn’t get vetted too well: Tim Zickuhr, who used to costar as a one of the drivers on the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, extortion and coercion after police say he kidnapped a prostitute from Las Vegas, reports TMZ. The woman (aka Snow White) told police her client threatened to kill her if she didn’t repay $1,000 that he believed she stole from him. Zickuhr will have his day in court next month. No comment from History Channel folks.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category