Mark Kneyse

Director + Drone Pilot + Camera Operator

Drones are an amazing tool that allow a new perspective and add significant value to your production. If this is your first time hiring a drone, below is a quick rundown of what to expect.

First, let your drone operator know the following:

  • Date, time and how long you'd like to shoot
  • Location
  • What you need aerial footage of
  • Any other details you can provide

Next, we'll let you know what is possible and if there are any restrictions.

  • We can't fly in extreme temperatures or inclement weather. The less wind, the better!
  • Drone operators have to get permission for any flights within 5 miles of an airport.
  • We can't fly over people nor near large sporting events. 
  • Usually we aren't allowed higher than 400 feet and must keep the drone within our line of site (or our Visual Observer's) at all times.

It can technically go higher and further than that, but those are the rules set by the FAA and Transport Canada.

It is possible to get an exemption from some of these rules (called an authorization or a waiver) but it takes time. Requesting a flight next to an airport can take 2-3 weeks. The sooner you know what you need, the better.


Drone rates and operator skill levels are all over the place. Your budget and footage needs will determine what type of drone and crew you'll end up with.

  • Bigger budget = more versatile drone + more crew + more camera options = more complex shots
  • Smaller budget = risk of hiring unqualified personnel and getting unusable footage

I've been on shoots where both scenarios have happened.

What I bring to the table:

  • With my camera operator background, I provide professional knowhow at an affordable price. 
  • Remote pilot certification in both the United States and Canada
    • Small UAS Rule Part 107 with a Daylight Operations waiver 
    • Small RPAS Advanced Operations
  • Carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance
  • Allowed to fly at night

I own and operate DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Drones with the following specs:

  • Video resolutions of 4K, 2.7K, 1080 and 720
  • Frame rates of 60p, 48p, 30p and 24p.
  • For still photos, the 20 megapixel camera can shoot JPEG or RAW
  • 23 minutes of flight time per battery; a total of 115 minutes before charging
  • Plenty of SanDisk Extreme 32 GB microSD cards
  • An HDMI OUT port (female) if you have an external monitor or wireless transmitter

If you're not sure what settings you need, I can help you choose the best set-up for your project.

My rates start at $150/hour. This is for the time that I am at location. Any required pre-production is included in this price. Additional personnel might be required for more complex jobs.

Projects at night require myself and at least one visual observer. 

Hyperlapses start at $300. This includes 2-3 takes and an edited finished product. See HYPERLAPSES for more information.

Be sure to bring a laptop, flash drive or MicroSD card with plenty of space for transferring files at the end of the day. Please note that 4K footage takes up a lot of space and requires a fast computer for viewing and editing.

Rates above are in US dollars. For Canada, rates start at $190/hr (CAD) with Hyperlapses starting at $380 CAD.

Now you have a better idea of what to expect when hiring a drone for your shoot. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to take that next step and Hire a Drone!

You can also see my stock footage for sale at Pond5.

Use a hyperlapse to set your business apart.

Click the PLAY button to see our aerial hyperlapse reel.

Hyperlapse adjective \ˈhī-pər, laps\ : a timelapse where the camera is moving

A great tool for showing the progression of time. Imagine the sun setting or traffic going by.

Our aerial hyperlapses are created by flying 2 mph while taking a still photo every 2 seconds. These photos are then grouped together and stabilized. Thirty pictures equals one second of footage. This means 10 minutes of flying time gets you a 10 second clip.

Rates for hyperlapses start at $300. Typically this includes 2-3 takes of the shot and an edited finished product. Hyperlapses are greatly affected by wind speed and direction so we will coordinate with you the best time, place and path of the drone.

A few notes on aerial hyperlapses:

  • Wide, expansive shots look best. They come out smooth and play back at a good speed.
  • Shots with objects in the foreground have a higher chance of being shaky and go by way too fast.
  • Lots of movement in the frame (from a distance) is best: traffic, boats, clouds. One example is a large construction site with lots of activity. 

We capture JPG photos in a 20 megapixel, 3:2 aspect ratio at a resolution of 5472 x 3648. The finished product will be cropped and sized to your specifications. We recommend one of the following:

  • HD 1920 x 1080, 16:9
  • UHD 3840 x 2160, 16:9

If you require RAW photos, please note that they can only be taken every 5 seconds, leading to a shorter and possibly less stable hyperlapse.

For more information or to discuss your hyperlapse needs, please CONTACT US.

About Me imageAbout Me imageAbout Me image

With 20+ years in the entertainment industry, I have worked on a variety of projects with an assortment of gear. Reality TV and documentaries are where I got my start but I've since transitioned into live events. It could be a baseball game for broadcast, a live concert for the video boards or a promo shoot on Facebook Live. I have experience both in the truck and behind the camera at sporting events, music festivals, corporate events and more.

Camera Credits

Directing Credits

Metallica - Helping Hands Concert
Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Lakers
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Football Club
Pepperdine Basketball
Innings Fest
Nike/NBA Product Launch
Country Crossings Music Festival
The CW: Live at Comic-Con
The Amazing Race 29
National Championship Tailgate
Yamaha SxS Product Launch
Street Outlaws
Ru Paul's Drag Race
Running the Sahara
SportsNet LA
Bally Sports West
Fox Sports Midwest
Bally Sports West
Van Wagner
Live Concert
Live Stream
Facebook Live
Live Concert
Facebook Live
Live Concert
Live Webcast
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Kings
Maze, The Whispers, Jodi Watley
Salt-N-Peppa, Bell Biv Devoe
USA vs Mexico Flag Football
Dream Theater
Los Angeles Dodgers
Collective Soul
Billy Currington
Luke Combs

Drone Projects

Music Videos
Reality Shows
Promotional videos
Sizzle Reels
Real Estate photos
Corporate shoots
Car Shows
Motorcycle Tour Arena Arena
Microsoft Theater
Microsoft Theater
Super Bowl Experience
Microsoft Theater
Spring Training Webcast
Tip-Off Tailgate
Country Crossings Music Festival
Innings Festival

More credits available upon request.

My drone footage can be seen in each of the following videos with the exception of "Hittin' Utah" which was my GoPro shot and "Westlake Filter Plant" which is behind the scenes footage of me flying.

You can also see my stock footage for sale at Pond5.

My aerial footage can be found in the beginning and at the one minute mark. For Sotheby's International in Beverly Hills, CA.


All of these (very brief) shots were peppered throughout Season 8 of Little Women: LA. Locations include Cancun, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Tulum and Mountain High.

Thanks to Cabu for use of his song Ipanema from The Beat Tape 3.

My drone footage can be found at the 1:18 mark.
For Oasis Church in Los Angeles.

My aerial footage of the new Long Beach Civic Center can be found throughout this video.

Produced and Directed by Mark Austin Heim.


You can see my drone footage at the 00:15 and 00:38 marks.

You can see my drone footage at the 00:35 mark.



Fox 11 featured my drone footage throughout their story on the Eric Owen Moss designed Wrapper building in Los Angeles.


My aerial footage can be found throughout these videos from the LA Catholic Schools.

Based out of Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Ready to Travel the World.

Citizenship and Passports for the United States and Canada.