It’s a very exciting time for me right now as we launch our long-awaited family owned aerial photography and filming business. This has been ‘on the cards’ for over a year, but other filming priorities meant that we had to be patient. And our patience has just paid off; the time is now right and we’re getting ready for a flying start!

My work producing film, TV and internet content has taken me all over the world. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked alongside many highly talented and professional film producers while learning my craft. I’ve also had great fun and thoroughly enjoyed working on some of the best known and highly regarded television entertainment programmes such as the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off and ITV’s Off Their Rockers. One of the great highlights on this journey was working with one of the UK’s most valuable treasures – the very lovely Mary Berry. During this period I also grabbed the opportunity to work for a season of filming winter sports in the Alps while improving my mountaineering and snowboarding skills. It’s been a hard life..!

I’ve known from an early age exactly what I wanted to do to earn my living. Instead of staying on at school to study ‘A levels’ I chose to attend College on a BTEC Media Studies course. This led me to the University of Central Lancashire where I received an excellent introduction to the theoretical and practical skills that are so important in my trade and where I graduated with a BSc Hons degree in Film and Television Production.

Getting a foothold in the television industry was not easy. I did all sorts of odd jobs in order to survive in the gaps between the occasional juicy projects for the established TV production companies. And perseverance paid off. A lot of hard work combined with a little bit of luck opened doors leading to some amazing opportunities. Like many friends and colleagues working in TV broadcasting I started my own business - Andrew Bruce Media - with a focus on broadening my professional horizon on both pre and post production activities. Working freelance enabled me to be selective and to work on projects that enhanced my skills as well as giving me the confidence to continually take on new challenges. That’s where Overhead Pictures comes in.

The aerial photography and filming industry is developing rapidly on the back of improvements in remote control technology and innovation. The latest equipment (multi-rotor aircraft and cameras, often referred to as drones) is incredibly sophisticated. We have invested in this technological revolution and operate with the very latest equipment. But, on its own, the equipment isn’t enough. Drone operators need to understand how to obtain the best results and to do this consistently – every single time. This can only be achieved by professionals who fully understand the art of photography and filming.

We’ve developed our business case and produced a highly comprehensive Operations Manual which has been approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. We have also qualified as ‘remote pilots’ and work to the code of conduct established by the industry leading body: the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (ARPAS-UK). This includes being fully insured for third party risks - up to £5m for any single incident. All this helps to ensure our customers have the confidence that they are dealing with a safe, responsible and professional business.

Our plan for the future includes developing aerial work alongside our existing film production activities, while growing the business to meet the requirements of our many long-standing and new customers. The success we’ve enjoyed so far has been built on looking after the best interests of our customers while delivering consistently on quality. Not only that, we do this safely and at very sensible and competitive prices which keeps our existing customers happy. We’re sure our new customers will also be pleasantly surprised with our rates.

The relatively low cost of drones when compared to manned aircraft systems is opening the door to a wide range of organisations and individuals where aerial imagery was previously thought to have been far too expensive. This is no longer the case. We are anticipating significant growth for our aerial filming and photography services and look forward to demonstrating the added value that stems from using professionally produced images. And there’s no cost to our customers when discussing with us how we can provide material to help promote their businesses, activities and events. We’re always more than happy to consider any requests, no matter how straightforward or off-the-wall they may appear to be.

We are especially keen to work in partnership with like-minded professional photographers and film makers whose businesses would benefit from being able to offer an aerial view of their subjects. We see this as a win-win situation. Our experience of being involved in the production of 100s of weddings and corporate event videos means we are confident of being able to add that unique and creative touch that turns an otherwise fairly ordinary video into something more like a high-end broadcast quality production for television. Put simply, we recognise the requirement to be different and to continually push the boundaries in order to grab attention. We would be pleased to share our enthusiasm for creativity with other businesses holding similar views.

We are also looking at what might be considered to be the less glamourous and less creative side of the business – aerial survey and inspection work. Our remote controlled aircraft and camera systems can very quickly gain access to structures for a ‘look and see’ where the alternative is, for example, expensive scaffolding or using mobile elevated platforms. With Ultra-High definition cameras we are able to gather precise high quality information for a broad range of industries. Drones are currently being used in the Agriculture, Forestry, Mapping, Energy and Construction industries to provide a safe and cost effective solution to gathering information while, at the same time, reducing the requirement for having to gain physical access to often difficult and hard to reach locations. The option of using drones will often reduce the risks associated with working at height.

The main restriction for us is inclement weather, especially rain, which can have a detrimental impact on our equipment and reduce the quality of the work demanded by our customers. In these circumstances we will always look to accommodate our customer requirements at a time when the weather allows. This means that we are regularly out with our cameras before sunrise and after sunset, which often happens to coincide with the best times of the day for capturing quality images. We believe our ‘no stone left unturned’ approach to business is the only way to ensure our customers receive the very best service which exceeds their expectations every time - guaranteed.

That’s enough about us. We’re much more interested in our customers and their requirements. So, if you are looking for a professional and dependable business to capture and record your photographs and film from above the ground, then we’d be delighted to explore the possibilities with you. Of course, we’d also be delighted to accommodate your ground-based requirements too.

We look forward very much to continuing to delight our existing as well as new customers with aerial photographs and films that we are proud to present. So please do get in touch.

PS Did we mention that we do all this safely and at very sensible prices? Try us, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

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