Heliguy Interviews Multi-Award Winning DOP

Heliguy Interviews Multi-Award Winning DOP

Heliguy interviews Richard Cook, award-winning cameraman and DOP about his use of drones for TV channels like BBC, Channel 4, ITV and National Geographic.

Last updated: Mar 11, 2021

3 minute read

We recently spoke to Richard Cook, an Emmy award-winning Cinematographer and a multi GTC award-winning Director of Photography, who recently started using drones as part of his work. Richard has over thirty years’ experience as a cameraman and cinematographer that spans many different genres and broadcasters. Keep reading for more on Richard’s work and our interview with him.

About Richard Cook

Richard is a cameraman and cinematographer with a wealth of experience specialising in high-end documentary filming. Over the last few years, Richard has worked on a number of series touring Scotland, including Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands which has several series and Grand Tours of the Scottish Lochs which is currently airing on the BBC. These series allowed Richard to visit some of the most amazing landscapes with the presenter, Paul Murton. He combines aerial and ground-based filming to create the amazing footage for the show which resulted in his second win of a GTC (Guild of TV Cameramen) award. Richard is also a valued heliguy™ customer. As well as documentaries, Richard has worked on a features, dramas, commercials, and wildlife for broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and National Geographic. Keep reading for our interview with Richard.  Richard Cook


We asked Richard some questions about his work including his use of drones, as well as the drone industry. Check out his thoughts below.

After many years as a cameraman, what drew you to filming with drones?

I got into using drones as I was a cameraman and pilot and with a lot of experience filming from helicopters and other aircraft over the years.

You’ve recently toured Scotland with the BBC show Grand Tours of the Scottish Lochs, is there a location that stands out as your favourite from the show?

A very hard choice! I love Scotland but I think my favourite islands are Shetland and Tiree, but North Rona was good as well.

Do you have a location you’d like to shoot in that you haven’t had the opportunity to?

I have been to Foula and Fair Isle but it was too windy to fly the Drone, both locations would be great to film with a drone.


Richard Cook with his DJI Inspire 1

Which drones do you use to shoot and what are the benefits?

I mainly use the Inspire 1 and 2 drones. They offer a good compromise between size and image quality, can handle strong winds very well and are proving to be quite robust aircraft.   

Are there any challenges you face while filming with your drone?

Yes, the wind, rain and generally turbulent conditions that you get can make flying hard work. Sudden gusty weather is a constant hazard that can easily catch you out when flying close to trees etc. Richard with his DJI Inspire 2  

Do the UK regulations impact how you use your drones for filming?

I think the CAA have done a great job of regulating drones. As an aircraft pilot, I know the potential dangers and I think many of the rules from the CAA work well. The public have to be protected. These machines are not funny if they hit someone!

What advice would you give someone interested in filming with a drone?

Practice, practice, practice. It's also not enough just to be able to fly well, you have to understand the filming process and be able to fit in with crews and get the shots that work for a particular sequence. Composing a shot is also something that should be second nature, it certainly helps if you're a cameraman already. Shot by Richard Cook Grand Tours of the Scottish Lochs is currently showing on BBC One Scotland and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Learn More

If you’re interested in aerial videography and photography and want to find out more about the UK regulations or flying commercially, give one of our team a call on 0191 296 1024 or email us at info@heliguy.com.
Keep checking back with the heliguy™ Insider Blog for more exclusive interviews, updates on the latest DJI and Freefly products and the latest news from the drone industry.

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