As well as articles I am also doing some interviews with prominent women in the drone industries around the world
I am very excited about today’s blog interview with Sarah Oneal from ‘That Drone show’, I have been aware of ‘That Drone show’ from just before I got my first drone, Sarah and David did a review of the features of the then newly released phantom 3 when it first came out on their YouTube channel. Sarah originally hails from Nottingham in the UK and now lives with her family in California.
Please tell me about how you got into the drone industry?
My husband, David, is passionate about photography and film making, and purchased a drone having seen one used on a car commercial he worked on. As soon as he flew it he was hooked and when I tried it I was too! Before long we each had a drone and many of our excursions revolved around capturing images from above.
What do you fly?
I currently fly the DJI Phantom 4 and the Yuneec Breeze. I also have a bunch of smaller drones for flying around the house and to hone my skills. I have flown many drones over the last few years. These range from large ones like the DJI S900 and Inspire, through racing drones, and small palm sized drones.
What was your first drone?
My first drone was a DJI Phantom 2 Vision. We purchased it in December 2013. The advances in drone technology since then have been astounding; and the price point at which one may purchase drones which do incredible things is amazing.
Tell us all about ‘That Drone show’ how did it come about?
That Drone Show began as a way for David and I to learn more about drones. As soon as we flew we were hooked and wanted to immerse ourselves in the drone world. We knew there was a lot to learn and what better way to do so than by asking the people that were doing awesome things with drones?
The show began as a live broadcast. Our initial viewers stuck with us – thank you! – and we now have over 1 million views on YouTube.
The content of the show has evolved as the drone world has changed. We now cover news, interview people, and cover lots of events. In the last few months alone we covered the launch of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2, the launch of the Connex Falcore, InterDrone, the International DroneExpo, CES, SoCal Maker Con, and the AMA Expos East and West.
Drone racing has become huge in the last year and we have many shows on this. Much of our racing coverage is live streamed. We covered the first ever drone race at CES, and will soon be streaming the Great Lakes Cup. This is going to be a huge race in a stadium and you will not want to miss it.
Stemming from That Drone Show, David and I formed a marketing company, Wildly Creative Marketing. We offer a number of services to clients in the tech and drone industries. We produce videos, do social media takeovers, organise events and much more.
Tell us about ‘International drone day’ how can people get involved and what date is it this year?
International Drone Day is an annual event which anyone reading this needs to be involved in! It is held on the first Saturday of May each year, so this year is the 6th of May.
The first International Drone Day was a huge success with the likes of the CEO of Intel and iJustine taking part. Last year it was an even bigger success. Tens of thousands of people worldwide take part each year and International Drone Day 2017 is set to be the biggest yet.
David and I founded International Drone Day because we got tired of hearing so much negativity about drones. Just about every reference we heard to them outside of the drone community was about them being dangerous, invading privacy, or being used in warfare.
We wanted those that had only heard negative things about drones, or who were confused about them, to understand that they are used in agriculture, conservation, water preservation, crime scene analysis, film making, sports, journalism, home and power line inspections, and much, much more. We felt there was a need to educate the public and press about all the wonderful things drones are used for. Hence, “drones are good” becoming our motto!
The non-drone community is really the target audience of International Drone Day. While it is a wonderful celebration for those of us that fly, more importantly it is about protecting our right to fly.
To that end, we are very proud that the largest model aviation organization in the world, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, is the title sponsor of International Drone Day.
Events are hold all over the world on one day. It kicks off in Australia (where we have two female International Drone Day Captains – Jessica Culley and Diana Champion) and ends in Hawaii. There are events held throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America.
Each event is organised by a Team Captain, and they hold the event however they want. The only stipulations are that it must be free of charge and open to everyone, and it must show that drones are good. These Team Captains dedicate a lot of time and money– so please support them by attending your local event! If you wish to become a Team Captain, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 6th let’s see #IDD17 #dronesaregood and #internationaldroneday trending again!
What do you love about Drones and the drone industry?
I am passionate about technology and I like the speed at which new features and functionality come to market. You almost don’t want to buy a drone because you know in a very short time a new one will do something even cooler!
I also like the way they are used to carry out work that would previously have taken a long time, such as monitoring crops, or been a safety risk, such as inspecting windmills. The range of ways in which these tools are used is mind blowing.
With the drone industry, I enjoy the feeling of community. It is, by and large, supportive and made up of good people doing positive things. Many of us have grown together and I consider many of the people I interact with professionally as friends.
Your favourite project so far? Or most satisfying shot?
My favorite project to date has been producing The Drone Invasion movie. Just as with International Drone Day, David and I wanted to shatter the myths surrounding drones and to show that “drones are good”.
We spent two years interviewing people from all walks of the drone world about their opinions on drones. We spoke to people including celebrities Anthony Cools, Jeff Timmons, and Lance Burton.
We featured big names within the drone world such as the Roswell Flight Test Crew, Sally “The Drone Girl” French, and Jim Bowers, founder of the S.W.A.R.M. search and rescue network.
In addition we interviewed people from DJI and Yuneec, and a range of people doing wonderful things with drones such as photographers Laurie Rubin and Abbe Lyle, and journalist Maria Stefanopoulos.
The movie premiered at the Downtown LA Film Festival. This was cool because it wasn’t a festival specifically for drone films. We are happy that it was shown in a mainstream theatre as part of a mainstream festival.
David did an awesome job directing the movie – it is not only educational but it is slick and fun to watch. It is available on Amazon Video.
What new technology would you like drones to feature in the future..what is on your wish list if you like, your dream drone?
The obvious dream is for longer flight time, or for more drones to have the ability to use multiple batteries. It seems like we spend such a long time preparing to fly and end up with such a short time in the air!
There are commercial implications of this with regards to completing jobs more quickly.
Do you see yourself as a role model for women in the drone industry?
I don’t see myself as a role model for women but maybe I am to younger females that are interested in drones or in technology in general. My advice to them is not to be held back from doing the things you love. Go for what you want – work hard, do not compromise your integrity, and achieve your dreams!
If there was anywhere you could you could fly your drone with NO legal restrictions where would it be and why? Your fantasy flight if you like.
David and I live in a no fly zone so being able to fly at home would be pretty cool! Beyond that I would love to fly over Los Angeles – starting at the beach, flying over the funfair at Santa Monica pier, moving inland over the insane traffic, and capturing the rooftop bars and sky scrapers of downtown LA. I need my dream drone with extended flight time for this!
That Drone Show:
YouTube: That Drone Show (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxaWRfSwiV0fxvky-hmWrg)
International Drone Day:
Wildly Creative Marketing: