WPPI is proud to be hosting several new instructors at the 2018 Conference and Expo. In an industry that's constantly changing, our goal is to provide attendees with instructors that are thriving in today's market and can share some of the secrets to their success. Here, Ty Audronis tells us about the work he's doing with aerial cinematography and explains what skills still shooters need to make a successful transition to drone footage capture. Don't miss his presentation taking place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas. See you there!
Name: Ty Audronis
Title: Drone pilot, photographer, cinematographer
WPPI Seminar: Aerial Cinematography on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Years in business: 20+
WPPI: What are some common mistakes you see new drone pilots making, and what are some ways they can correct those errors?
Ty Audronis: Some of the most common mistakes I see (even in advanced pilots) have to do with a lack of understanding of the technology. The ease of flight of the new generation of drones gives a false sense of security to pilots and they become complacent. Complacency leads to accidents, and sometimes injuries. Being a good pilot takes a lot of practice. Being a good photographer takes a lot of practice. Being both takes twice as much practice (and education).
WPPI: Who are some of your clients for drone footage?
TA: I've worked for Discovery Networks (Discover, Investigation Discovery, etc.), History, Travel, Sci as well as some feature film projects. I've also worked on several national, regional and local ad campaigns. During Hurricane Harvey, for example, I did some work on behalf of Humanitarian Drones (of which I'm a founding member) for the Texas National Guard, City of Rockport and other agencies as well.
WPPI: Where do you see the future of aerial photography going, and what can still shooters do now to prepare?
TA: When I started using drones, the technology was such that you had to build it all on your own. There just weren't any small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) out there worth buying. And, by "build your own," I mean tearing out components from other electronics to literally build your own control systems! Now you can buy a DJI Phantom 4 Pro at an electronics store on your way to the set. You can't spit without hitting a drone. So that means that you need to rely on your skill to set you apart from the competition—not your gear. There is no "instant skill" switch on a drone, so extreme attention to detail is what aerial photographers and cinematographers need nowadays.
WPPI: Are there any movies, books, songs or artworks that have inspired your work?
TA: Absolutely. Any creative that tells you otherwise is lying. Inspiration is the nature of the business. From the visual effects of The Matrix to the use of color to set scenes by Jerry Bruckheimer to the use of music in the opening montage of Sucker Punch. I make it a point to watch at least six hours of television or film every day. It's my industry magazine. If I'm not working with audio, I have a TV running while I work.
Check out more interviews with the new instructors of WPPI by visiting: rangefinderonline.com/wppi-instructors.