A day with Ironbird
Last week 12 media production students and I went on a fun day out with Rob and Alec of Ironbird: iron-bird.co.uk , Liverpool–based aerial cinematography company that’s having a meteoric success since their start up 2 years ago. The morning began with screened examples of their work ranging from air shots for a documentary in Kenya to adverts for MacDonalds and a breathtakingly beautiful developing shot of a train crash for Hollyoaks. Drones are big business and rapidly proliferating in all sectors with diverse applications as well as media content but Rob and Alec are leading the way in cinematography using drones. For eight years prior to starting Ironbird they were both freelance professional cameramen so they have a wealth of cinematography experience to draw on. When coupled with their expertise of flying drones the result is astonishing.
After lunch we all piled into cars and headed over to a piece of open land that Ironbird use regularly for test shots and the drone was launched. It flew up into the skies making an endearing noise like a swarm of bees circling high above our heads and off into distances like a small alien aircraft whilst we huddled round the monitor watching the shots that Alec was getting by his expert handling of the remote control for the camera. The drone itself was flown by Rob (a Media Production alumni of 8 years ago) who studied intensively to qualify for a pilots licence in order to fly the drone in compliance with airspace regulations.
We all stood ‘oohing’ and ‘aaahhhing’ as we watched for over an hour the little alien craft dip and dive smoothly and land several times very gently on its 4 feet only to have its battery changed by Rob and then launched again and again up into the blue skies to the bemusement of a nearby flock of seagulls.
We all had an awesome day with Ironbird and many thanks to Andy of Open Labs for organizing this for the Media Production programme . Rob and Alec’s story is very inspiring as young entrepreneurs who took their professional camera craft skills to another level a couple of years ago by buying a drone and getting a pilots licence. The demand for their cinematography has exceeded all their expectations and their reputation has rapidly spread in the industry for being leading experts in this niche field.
Well done and thank you Ironbird you left us all buzzing and inspired.