Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What does H5 charge?

Filming Rate: H5 Media charges a filming rate of $3,997/hour with a one hour minimum.

Commute Rate: Our commute rate to remote filming locations is $1,500/hour. The one-way commute time becomes the minimum filming time. For example, if the commute is two hours one-way, the minimum filming time is two hours as well.

Flat Day Rate For Filming: H5 also has a flat day rate of $16,000, which includes up to six hours of flight time.

Charter Services: For charter services, H5 charges an hourly rate of $1,850, with a one-hour minimum.

2. What lens do you use?

H5 Media uses the Fujinon HA22 X 7.8.

3. Do you charge ground fees?

For ground time less than an hour, there is no charge. There is also no ground fee if, for example, both early morning and late afternoon shoots are needed and the H5 helicopter can return to base in the meantime. However, for ground time exceeding one hour, we do charge a small ground fee.

4. What is the typical pricing in the industry?

In the industry, there is typically a daily rate that is charged for camera systems. For a top-of-the-line camera system like H5 uses, (CineFlex or similar), the charge is typically $3,000 per day.

There is also a $75-$100/hour portal-to-portal fee for an aerial cinematographer. So that includes their travel time from their place of employment to the work site. Once on-site, this person is typically paid a daily rate, which varies.

The helicopter pricing itself varies somewhat. An AS350 B2 aircraft is usually leased at $1,850-$2,250 per hour with a 2-4 hour minimum. Then on top of that, there is rig time, where the filming components are shipped to the customer, and the crew comes in and rigs the ship. After the shoot, the leased helicopter is de-rigged and that is charged as well.

Because H5 Media owns the SaberCat and filming equipment, it is always rigged and ready to go, saving you time and money.

5. What does your company do?

H5 Media provides a variety of services. In addition to custom aerial cinematography, we also offer a wide selection of stock footage in our library. H5 also offers helicopter charter and fueling services.

6. What kind of helicopter do you have?

H5‘s SaberCat is a Eurocopter AS350 B2. In North America it marketed and referred to as the ‘AStar’.

7. What camera system do you use?

H5 uses the cineFlex V14HD, the ultimate tool for HD aerial filming and video production.

8. How do you charge for filming?

We charge a 1 hour minimum and then by 1/10th of an hour after the first hour, up to 4 hours. After the first 4 hours, the ‘daily rate’ has been met and we only charge the helicopter rate for the remainder of the day. If you know you’re going to require 4 hours of filming or more, we have a daily rate that you can choose up front.

9. How do you charge for charter tours?

We charge a 1 hour minimum and then every 1/10th of an hour after the first hour

10. Why the CineFlex system?

The CineFlex gyro stabilized lens is the top in the industry. The software and powerful motors of the Generation 3 system, along with military spec gyro, provide amazingly smooth camera stabilization. The built-in microprocessors sample data over 2,500 times a second with an instantaneous feedback loop and motor control system that removes vibration.

With automatic heaters to warm the motors in cold environments, the Cineflex system functions well in everything from frigid, sub-zero temps to the blistering, mid-summer heat of the desert, making it perfect for any condition the southwestern terrain can throw at it.

11. How many passengers can you carry for a charter?

The SaberCat can carry up to five passengers or a total weight of 1,000 pounds.

12. When filming, how many people can fly with you?

Typically the pilot sits in the front-right seat and our aerial cinematographer sits in the left-rear seat, leaving the front-left for an aerial director and the right-rear seat for an additional photographer or assistant director. There is also a 500lb restriction on the two additional riders.

13. What formats do you use?

At default, our camera can record in vertical resolutions of 1080 and 720 in either interlaced or progressive formats at a variety of frame rates, from 23.98p to 60p, including PAL standards of 25p and 50p. However, we can shoot in all available formats upon request.

14. Can you shoot in 2k or 4k?

H5 has the capability to shoot in all formats. To request something other than our default format, please call for quote.

15. Can you film jets in your helicopter?

Yes, check out our demo reels of faster flying aircraft.

16. Do you film out of state?


17. Do you charter out of state?


18. How much liability insurance do you carry?

$10 million is our normal coverage, but if additional coverage is needed, please call for a quote.

19. Do you have a certified Motion Picture Manual?

Yes, click here to download our Motion Picture Manual.

20. Can we have still shooter on board while you are filming?

Yes, the SaberCat has ‘slide and lock’ rear doors for those shooting their own footage. Typically no harness is needed as the door opens wide, but if you do need one, there are 8 hard points from which to anchor a harness.

21. What other features are on board that will enhance the quality of the shoot?

The SaberCat comes equipped with an 8” front dash monitor display system. This monitor display is reserved for the aerial Director of Photography/Videography and it shows everything the camera is sees and can direct the aerial cinematographer live. There is also a digital recorder that allows for quick playback if the aerial director wants to see if they ‘got the shot.’ We’ve found that this allows for the quickest transfer of footage to the customer.

22. Do I have to provide a hard drive on my shoot?

If you do not have a hard drive you want to use, we can loan one for up to two weeks at no cost or we can provide one for you at cost. If your crew needs to leave town before the download, we can ship the footage overnight as soon as the download is complete.

23. Do you keep copies of our footage until we confirm we have our download secure?

H5 always keeps two copies of all of our footage in perpetuity. In fact, one copy is actually kept in a fire-safe vault to ensure the safety of your footage.

24. Can you give an accurate quote, if we are filming in a remote location?

Yes. H5 Media inputs the coordinates of your shoot location into a flight planner to calculate the helicopter commute rate to and from your location. Then, the minimum film duration is equal to the one-way commute duration. That is how we establish the minimum, but if you know it is going to take more than the filming minimum to capture your footage, we can accurately estimate that as well. For example: If the location is 1.3 hours from H5’s Hangar, we charge $1,500/hour for the commute rate @ 1.3 hours to location. Then we charge $3,997/hour @ 1.3 hours (matches the one-way commute). Finally, we charge $1,500/hour commute rate @ 1.3 hours back to H5 Productions.

25. What is the difference between graded and ungraded footage?

Graded footage has been modified to make the colors pop and bring out the natural beauty of the captured footage. Typically, video editors prefer the raw (ungraded) footage, as it can be modified to the editor’s needs, but we offer the graded version for a small additional charge for those that would like to use our footage in a “plug-and-play” fashion.

26. What is the difference between Rights Managed Licensing and Single-Project Licensing?

To make the process as simple as possible for everyday editors, H5’s Stock Footage library offers a simple “Single-Project Price,” offered in both graded and ungraded versions. Single-Project licensing allows you to download the footage once and use it for use in one project on a non-recurring basis. This option was designed with web companies, students, and hobbyists in mind, so it is primarily for use in smaller projects. If you are planning to use the footage in broadcasts, larger campaigns, or on a recurring basis, be sure to use the custom Rights Management drop-downs to ensure you are selecting the right licensing option. We do keep track of the use-cases for our footage, so attempting to use it outside the scope of its licensing is not recommended and can result in serious legal ramifications.

27. How many times can I download the footage I purchase?

You may download the footage only once. If something unfortunate happens, please contact us and we would be happy to help you resolve the issue and get you the footage.

28. Can I get extended clips?

We try to show the best of our footage in the clips we put up in the library. Typically we cut around any vibrations or un-smooth motions, but we’re happy to check on the availability of extended clips upon request.

29. Can I request footage I can’t find in your library?

If you want to “Call Your Shot,” we may have the footage you’re looking for already or can try to capture footage you’re looking for while we’re out on other projects. Simply let us know what type of footage you’re looking for and we will do our best to include it in the video library at the earliest possible time.


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