My 15 minutes of fame…
Following on from my previous post, where I showcased a bit of aerial footage that I took of the floods in Frankwell on Boxing Day last year, I went out with my new quadcopter setup* in early February as we continued to have ridiculous levels of rainfall, and Frankwell became even more of a flood plain.
This video, which I posted on YouTube on February 10th, got picked up by all sorts of media outlets who were apparently desperate to get some decent footage of Shrewsbury’s flood problem. Here’s my video, if you’re curious:
This ended up going viral on Facebook and Twitter, and attracted over 22,000 views within a few days – far more than I expected considering that my previous video struggled to break 500 in two months!
I was then asked to do an interview and photo for a piece about me in the Shropshire Star, and also ended up being filmed by BBC Midlands Today (video link) – who, somewhat annoyingly, put a little bit too much focus on the “FPV” element of the story, when really all I use the goggles for is lining up the camera – I always strive to keep the Phantom within visual line of sight, for obvious reasons, so flying through FPV exclusively is not something I’m keen on unless I have a spotter with me (which also happens to be a legal requirement.)
I was then contacted by other news and media agencies – ITV Central News wanted me to do an interview with me flying over the Quarry park (which I had to decline due to weather conditions), The One Show on BBC1 contacted me to ask if they could use the video on their Floods Special being shown that week, and Sky News also asked me for permission to use the clip. I was talked about on Radio Shropshire, and on multiple occasions I’d be out and about doing such mundane things as shopping or getting takeaway and I would overhear people talking about my video.
All very surreal.
Fortunately, it’s all died down a bit now – I don’t particularly enjoy being the centre of attention, and it was all a little bit strange. Still, it has made me realise that there is tremendous scope out there for doing this sort of thing commercially – the number of offers I’ve received that I’ve had to turn down (because I don’t have the necessary qualifications to meet the Civil Aviation Authority’s requirements for commercial aerial work) is unbelievable. Further research required, I think!
* The new setup, incidentally, is a DJI Phantom 2, with a ZenMuse gimbal, GoPro Hero 3 Black and Fat Shark Predator v2 FPV goggles.