My journey into the world of drone technology began more than a decade ago in of all places television -- In my former life, I was Vice President of Production for Discovery Communications Emerging Networks Group.
Having worked in cable television production for 30 years, you learn quickly how to make the most of limited resources and limited budgets. At the time, we had been commissioned to produce one of the networks’ highest-profile action series and it was my job to make sure every dollar we spent impacted the screen. From the early stages of production planning we knew that the series required aerial cinematography, which at that time was done almost exclusively by helicopter. But unfortunately, we just didn’t have the budget for aerials.
Undeterred we started playing with the idea of mounting cameras to remote controlled helicopters. Mind you, back then “drones” were purely military equipment. We were working with single prop, collective-pitch, RC helicopters. Needless to say, it was an idea way ahead of its time with no effective way to stabilize the camera or the picture. In the end, we knew we had a solid concept, but the technology was just not where we needed it to be. But an idea for a new company, doing things a new way, was born.
In 2008, with this idea — and a contract to produce a mini-series I left Discovery and launched a production company that was a precursor to National Drone Services. And the rest, well…you know what they say!