As a director, my job is to look for new and interesting visual elements, camera gear, figuring out how to use new things, experimentation. When it came to drones, it was really all about this one skateboard video that I saw in 2013 called “Pretty Sweet.” It starts out with an amazing shot that I just couldn’t figure out how it happened.
And basically, I started doing some research online, I found out about drones, and drone cameras, and the fact that cameras could now fly - very very early days - and I immediately started building one. And that took me to where we are now, which is that after years of tinkering with these, building and buying and modifying systems and more playing with them, that now I’m shooting a lot of TV shows, movies, commercials, things like that. In 2014, one of the videos I was shooting around NYC - “Aerial NYC” - went really viral.
And when that went viral, I thought “I should submit this to a film festival.” And I looked around, and realized there was nothing around. No film festivals had categories for me, and no festivals were dedicated to it. So I decided to start my own. So that was it.
And we just finished our fifth year.