I am excited to share some new footage that our Communications team shot with the AR Drone 2.0. If you want to just watch the footage, then skip below. If you want to know the story of how we arrived at this point, keep reading.
For a few years, I’ve wanted to add aerial footage to the delivery of our stories about as badly as a country boy living in the city wants a deer lease. The problem with both is that they are too expensive.
Working for a non-profit ministry means everything happens with little to no budget. Hiring a helicopter or outsourcing aerial footage…well, that’s like having champagne wishes and caviar dreams on a beer and Vienna sausage budget—it ain’t happening.
So Matt Miller, Adam Covington, and I began our quest by personally purchasing smaller RC helicopters with dreams of attaching a GoPro camera to the bottom. To get a helicopter strong enough to carry the camera, I found the learning curve too time consuming, costly, and complicated. All we got was some shaky video and bucket of broken parts.
In the spirit of Jimmy V., we didn’t give up. Enter the AR Drone 2.0. With four rotors, a padded indoor housing, and two built-in cameras with the front camera recording 720 HD footage, we immediately saw the potential. After some research, I tested one at Brookstone in the airport while flying home to see my family at Thanksgiving.
The AR Drone. 2.0 retails for under $300, but we weren’t satisfied. It just so happened that Living Social had a deal for Brookstone who also ran a sale at the same time. Combine that with tax-exempt status and the deal seemed ripe for the picking.
The footage below contains our first attempts at several shots. We attached a thumb drive inside the Drone to record the footage and used an iPhone to control flight. You’ll see my first outdoor flight at our new student housing on campus (a little shaky but again a first attempt). The first phase of new housing will be completed soon, and you can expect to see a tour shortly.
The second video has some nice rotunda and Truett Auditorium shots. The other guys fly it better than I do so I think we can finally get the footage of our Frieze, that I have wanted. And for events like Youth Lab on April 5-6, I can see a crowd flyover with live footage shown on the screen making a big splash. Finally, our campus tour will benefit from the aerial footage. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.