Presenting Hull in a Different Light with Drone Technology

Bringing us a brand new perspective of the world, OctoVision Media specialises in aerial photography and video services. We met up with Pilot-in-Command Chris Fenton and his drones to understand more about aerial services and the benefits they bring.

“Aerial photography creates views that you wouldn’t otherwise see very often, if at all,” explains Chris. “Everyone’s got a phone nowadays, everyone can capture an image, but a photo from above and a difficult angle is truly unique.” This is crucial to viewer retention, as video currently accounts for over 70% of all consumer internet traffic and is set to rise to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco.

OctoVision Media provides an aerial service for businesses and events, allowing people to appreciate activity and operations on a larger and more integrated scale.

“We work nationally and internationally to create images for all sorts of clients, from East Riding Council to the NHS,” said Chris. “We’re currently capturing monthly footage of the build process over at IT@Spectrum; they’re having premises built at Bridgehead Business Park and are using the visuals for their blog.” By using drones, OctoVision are seizing images that show the full extent of construction works and how the development is transforming the area for the better.

Drone filming is also an excellent choice when it comes to creative ventures: “We’ve worked with a lot of filmmakers, such as the people behind The Bagpipe Maker’s Baby, which features some of our aerial rush shots.” The independent short film, set in the East Riding, is the brainchild of Julian Woodford and Dead Bod Films. It premiered at the Hull Film Festival in July 2016 at Hull Truck Theatre.

“Another film we’ve worked on has just been shown over at Kardomah94,” Chris enthuses. Revolt by Jack Grewar ran for the first time at the venue in mid-August and uses OctoVision’s shots for scene setting and general views of the area.

But drone photography is not all plain sailing, or even plain flying, as Chris explains: “There’s a lot of regulations, and hoops to jump through, including a two-day theory course and test where you must score 85% or above to pass.”

Even once you have your licence and your drone, you can only fly 400 feet above take-off position: “You must keep it in visual line of site at all times and the camera must stay within 500m of you,” added Chris. “Permission for flying must also be granted by the Civil Aviation Authority and their strict codes adhered to at all times.”

That’s why Chris has invested his time in writing an operations manual and runs a three-tiered training course suitable for everyone, from new flyers to intermediate and advanced pilots: “Flying a drone looks easy, but there are some variables and regulations that can be interpreted in different ways.” Starting from £39, you could learn the basic skills to fly nano-sized drones and eventually gain a professional qualification for industrial models.

Clearly passionate about his work in aerial imagery and filmography, Chris showed us his portfolio, which includes a beautiful bird’s-eye view of the vibrant celebration that we all know as Hull Fair. At a glance, this could have been a snap of a child’s circus play set, yet the vibrancy and colours hanging on his office wall are indeed the city’s annual fairground attraction from many feet above.

Needless to say, seeing the cityscape from a different frame of reference certainly made us extremely proud to be from the area. And that’s the very reason why OctoVision Media provide such an excellent service, and why many businesses pay for the privilege: technically intricate and visually stunning shots from a vantage point that you wouldn’t normally be able to access.

Not only has their office at the C4DI provided OctoVision with a place to display their work for visiting clients to marvel over, but it’s also the perfect storage facility for all of their gadgets and drones: “Everything now has a home,” Chris laughs. “Before, it was all kept in my kitchen!”

In addition to a base of operations, OctoVision has been able to make great connections with fellow members and even work with the C4DI itself: “The future is definitely digital,” says Chris. “Everything is digital.”

From industrial plants and commercial headquarters to cultural attractions and festivals, aerial filming can bring your marketing materials to life. To find out more, visit octovisionmedia.co.uk for examples of application, costs and copyright information.