The Drone Age
Here at UK Locations HQ, we’re constantly looking for new ways to fulfill our Clients’ needs. We’ve been working alongside Billy to drone some of our unique locations (2662; 2640; 2617). If this gives you a better experience when selecting your perfect shoot location, we’ll roll it out next year!
We talk to Billy to find out more about his passion for Yorkshire; sailing; and flying high!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Originally from York, I worked for eight years in London, working for digital production companies. I started as a digital designer and moved into Art Direction across interactive and video commercials. My wife and I made the decision to move back to Yorkshire for a better pace of life. I love my sailing and in 2011, I circumnavigated the UK by boat. It took three months stopping off at 64 ports along the way.
What is your job role?
My day job is Creative Director at a digital agency in Leeds called Epiphany . We help our clients win new customers with great content, targeted advertising and insightful digital design. I personally look after the video and motion team. My other passion is for drones and I run a PfCO Civil Aviation Authority licensed drone company, Aerial Pilot. It’s been really exciting to work with UK Locations and drone some of their locations in the North.
What or who inspired you to get into being a drone pilot?
I worked on a project called Isles of Inspirations for Park Resorts Featuring drone footage from six of the most picturesque and inspiring places across the UK – we showcased the creative people those locations inspired – bringing the locations to life through words, music and the drone footage. From the South of England, Isle of Inspiration explores Eastbourne as Claude Debussy experienced it, Barbara Hepworth’s St. Ives, and Cheddar Gorge through the eyes of JRR Tolkien. Moving further North, the piece explores how the Yorkshire Moors inspired musician Kate Bush, the Yorkshire Dales’ impact on JMW Turner’s work and Wordsworth’s relationship with Ullswater and the Lake District.
I found the experience and footage very relaxing and interesting and wanted to explore further. Once the DJI Mavic Pro came onto the market, an affordable and easy to fly drone, I decide to deep dive into the drone industry.
What do you like about the drone that puts it above the rest?
It still blows my mind how stable the footage from drones can look, beautiful sweeping shots in glorious 4K resolution! But what I really love about the drone is how easy it is to create views with interesting perspectives. We live our lives traveling in along a 2D plane; forward, backwards, right and left. We can now easily explore above and peer down with this new perspective. Within the UK we can fly up to 400ft above the ground but it often doesn’t require us to get that high to compose interesting shots. Some of the best shots can be created just tracking 5 metres off the ground.
What did someone once tell you that has always stuck with you?
It’s something that many people may have heard before but I feel it’s very true, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. I love video production and feel very blessed to work on creating projects for Epiphany and Aerial Pilot that I find fun and engaging creatively.
Among your UK Location drone videos, which one is your favourite? Why?
Location 2662 is a stunning location, with incredible stained glass windows – amazing for fashion shoots. The home was built in 1783 for the son of the Archbishop of York. The blend of historic building, whilst be a functional family home was great to see.
Why do you like shooting on location?
For me as a drone pilot it means that I get to see some really unique and interesting locations. If I have my Creative Director hat on, I love filming on location with UK Locations because it takes the stress out of location hunting. They do all the ground work, a great job at organising the contracts and being available on the day to manage the location. We’ve used UK Locations a number of times.