Royal Television Society Drone Event

The Rise of the Drones sounds like the latest sci-fi spectacular but it could easily have been the title for a Royal Television Society drone event in Newcastle.


Around a hundred people from the TV and film industry were guests of the Society’s North East and The Border Centre to find out why the drone shot has become such a must have ingredient in almost any production these days.

X8 octocopter

Heliguy went along too to hear from Mark Batey, a BBC Academy trainer and advisor, who bought his first Phantom from us.

He explained how drones are giving directors and producers views that would otherwise be unobtainable and for a much cheaper price.

But he also cautioned about the over use or incorrect use of UAV sequences.

“Ask yourself ‘Is it helping your storytelling or does it appear as just a gimmick?’”

“As soon as your shot starts to say ‘Look I’m a drone!’ then it’s no good,” he said.

Royal Television Society guest speaker Mark Batey

Royal Television Society guest speaker Mark Batey

Mark went on the explain the regulations affected commercial drone flying and emphasised the shared responsibilities that filmmakers have to ensure drone operations are carried out safely.

The audience was then treated to a flying display by Horizon AP who’ve worked on “Robson Green’s Tales from Northumberland” on ITV and the BBC Two’s “Demolition – The Wrecking Crew” among many others.

Jack Wrangham of Horizon AP

Jack Wrangham of Horizon AP

The crowd was able to watch on a monitor in the back of Horizon AP’s van as Jack Wrangham flew their custom-built X8 octocopter around the Royal Grammar School playing field while Paddy Davies operated the camera. Jack and Paddy worked for Heliguy for a number of years before deciding to specialise in aerial video work.

Drone truck

A team from Heliguy was on hand too to showcase the DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 including our new FPV upgrade option for the Inspire. This is a self-contained unit with a camera in a new nosecone linked to a transmitter, antenna and battery at the rear. This feeds the signal to an extra monitor on the controller.

There were plenty of inquiries too about Heliguy’s Commercial UAV Pilot Training which enables pilots to obtain their CAA approved Permission for Aerial Work (PFAW). To find out more about how to become a legal, commercial pilot check out our training page.

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