In his opening remarks, Michael Surcombe (above) of aerial filming company, Leaping Wing, explained that, “Just a few years ago, when I worked for the BBC’s Innovation Lounge, we only had access to one drone, but now they’re everywhere”. He was demonstrating some of the latest drone filming equipment at the BBC Club in Cardiff on the 6th September. A former BBC producer, he became the first head of BBC Wales’ Innovation Lounge, established to showcase the latest digital technology, later leaving to set up Leaping Wing, whose clients include Amazon Prime, Endemol, the National Trust and Visit Wales. Commenting on their ease of use Surcombe added that, “the new drones coming out now are so light they can be carried in a small satchel and can be up and running in just a few minutes…. CNN has already issued them to all of its news crews in the States”.
Although he offers training in aerial photography, Surcombe explained that his interest in drones has developed into CGI data capture from the air. The visual effects industry is interested in using drones to streamline the time-consuming business of creating landscapes, and Alex Rumsey (right), 3D artist with Bristol based Moonraker VFX, who also spoke at the event, explained that by using photogrammetry, which enables measurements to be made from photographs, and recover the exact positions of surface points, “it’s becoming ever cheaper to get a digital copy of a landscape you have filmed with all the creative freedoms that come with that, especially using the ‘prosumer’ type drones which basically fly themselves”.
Currently, permission is required from the CAA for the commercial use of drones, but although the regulations have been tightened up, according to Surcombe, in the case of smaller more portable drones, “licensing will become easier in future and you won’t have to go through the current hoops and this will open up the market”.
We are pleased to say we have a video about the event, thanks to Nick Palit of BBC Wales's Innovation Lounge:-