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I know it’s been a while but don’t worry, we’re not grounded.

Well the 2017 aerial imaging season is beginning to look a little busier than it was a few months ago. Things have been quiet over the winter months, though not completely quiet. Read on for more.

We had a wedding back in November, and went back to film the ‘secret house’ in Devon in January but couldn’t because of the blanket fog, so we went back and got it done in February. The ‘secret house’ is nestled somewhere in the Blackdown Hills AONB valley, and it’s an amazing building when you can actually see it. I have renamed the place pea soup valley as on both trips there was no fog, anywhere, until we got to site. Luckily for us, the fog cleared on the 2nd trip but sometimes the winter weather makes it difficult to pick a good day to fly. It’s often a case of hedging your bets and hoping for the best. Sometimes mother-nature won’t play ball at all.

Happily, in some cases all is not lost which brings me onto when we were asked to film recently for the Brunel University in and outside their new metallurgy facility. A fantastical place with lots of hot, state of the art, very expensive, but surprisingly very clean metal bending, extruding and folding machines. The date was settled on and couldn't be moved, but in rolled Storm Doris so that meant we couldn’t fly outside but could still complete what was the majority of the work on the inside.

The machine we were being asked to film was a state of the art magnesium extruding machine and it was making engine parts. The whole process takes about a minute and happens behind closed safety doors. You can’t really see anything unless you have a ‘Little Derek’ (aka Drone) that can film the process without any danger to human life from above. This machine was like something out of the original Terminator film when the first T800 (Arnie) meets its demise in the metal press at the hands of Sarah Connor. It’s a blur of massive bits of metal, pipework arms, jets of steam and hot oil and pistons all moving about in perfect synchronicity. I have to concentrate when flying outside, but this was completely full on, and I felt battered afterwards. Anyway I hope we got what the client needed and they can use it for their conference and promotional activities going forwards. It was a fun and rewarding job, also something new and another feather in the Whirlybird cap.

Back to the future and plans are well underway to complete the aerial footage for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May, some of it will be on the BBC. We have 5 weddings already booked in for this year, 2 golf course videos, a nature reserve and back for a final trip to the ‘secret house’. But there is always room for more.

I work full time at another job but it’s nice to keep some money coming in on the Whirlybird side so we can keep paying for the insurance, licence fees, marketing and to get some inevitable upgrades. The pace of change in this industry is immense. We’ve only been going 18 months, but already feel left behind with the technology that some others are using. That said, at the moment, we're providing our clients with what they need and they are not asking us for stuff we can’t do. For these we can always get someone to white label for us if needed so we'll only be looking at value for money, and definately needed upgrades.

We’re also working hard to increase and improve our network of contacts. I’ve had some great conversations recently with several wedding videographers, Cotswold TV, local landowners and media production companies. There are lots of avenues still to explore but there is a balance to maintain with my day to day job so all of this work has to be done outside of that. So time to get the Whirlybird Wheels in motion for 2017 and you can give us a hand, if you want to, by sharing this blog and helping to keep the Whirlybird props spinning.

If you're going to a wedding this summer, ask the Bride and Groom if they have considered some aerial footage for their video. If someone you know is selling a house, ask them to contact us to really get their house noticed on online searches. Thanks, every little helps. John

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