I’m trying to attach camera mounts to the ceiling wall that has an AC vent running behind it.
Is it safe to drill into the drywall and make small holes to insert anchors without damaging the vent behind the wall?
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Take off that vent grate and look inside. You should be able to see the depth of the vent boot that connects to the duct and make a reasonable determination of the amount of space you have between the drywall and the duct.
Commonly (at least in residential and light-duty commercial), a soffit that encloses ducting like that is built from a box made of framing lumber, so even if the box is as tight as possible and nearly touching the duct, you can reasonably assume that you have at least the depth of a stud (1.75") between the back of the drywall and the boxed-in duct, likely more.
I'm guessing this is a recording studio. Was it purpose-built that way or refitted into a house or office building? That might give us an idea of what type of framing is used.