New drone at Brighton SkyCam...

Brighton SkyCam has recently acquired the new DJI Inspire 2 with its amazing X5S camera. The camera shoots broadcast quality 4K video, improving picture quality and offering greater flexibility in post-production. In addition, the use of interchangeable lenses means that we can get closer to the action without breaking any rules.

I will be posting some images from the 12mm, 25mm and 45mm lenses...

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The Arun Valley Postcard Trail: Burpham

I recently filmed the second episode of a series exploring the Arun Valley, past and present, with local historian Tony Pratt. This one was filmed around the small village of Burpham, near Arundel, using aerial, ground and water-based camera platforms. While aerial shots can look amazing, they should be used sparingly to achieve their greatest impact.

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Bluecoat Sports...

A few screen grabs from a recent job for Horsham video production company, Silvertip Films, as part of their promo video for Bluecoat Sports in nearby Christ's Hospital. Many thanks to Geoff Cockwill for giving me the work, and his willingness to operate within the rules to get some great late summer aerial footage.

When if met Geoff at a film makers networking event earlier this year, and showed him some examples of my work, he commented that I 'had an eye for a shot'. This was nice to hear as I believe my experience as a video maker, combined with my recently acquired flying skills, must offer a strong combination. Judging from some of the footage I've seen, there are lots of drone operators out there who can fly, but don't know how to string shots together.

The Bluecoat Sports job was my first opportunity to work with for Geoff, so it was important that he would respect the CAA regulations and be willing to work within them. I needn't have worried. Geoff absorbed all the legal constraints and appreciated the need to spend time planning jobs and doing the required paperwork.

After giving me his brief, Geoff and I met at Bluecoat Sports for a recce. Visiting a site before the flying day is a vital stage of the process, as it enables me to do a full assessment of the possible hazards and to satisfy myself that the job can be done safely. So, at the Bluecoat Sports recce, Geoff and I were able to work out a plan for a range of shots which would work both creatively and legally. We then had to get the cooperation of the Bluecoat Sports team, which wasn't a problem, and they were happy to provide assistance where necessary.

Most of my commercial work is done with my DJI Inspire quadcopter. Not only is it a great flying machine, it also allows me to use automated flight software. With my iPad, Autopilot and Google maps, I can create and save flight plans. I can then show these to clients before the shoot and modify them if necessary. It also means we can repeat the flights whenever we want. Best of all I can get really smooth shots, perhaps not previously possible as a single operator, which means I can provide high quality aerial footage at an affordable price.

The Bluecoat Sports job went smoothly. The weather was good, the staff were more than helpful, and working with Geoff was a calm and enjoyable experience. And we got some great footage. 

A journey through Cornwall...

Here's a short video I made while on holiday in Cornwall. I wanted to acquire aerial footage from my DJI Phantom 2/GoPro along with video clips from my Panasonic Lumix G7. Both are very portable, so I could carry all the gear in my backpack while finding locations off the beaten track. I have tried to use the aerial footage sparingly, supported by interesting ground shots.