Drone Dish: FourOhFourFilms

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Description: We're excited to be joined by aerial pilot and filmmaker Ken West (AirVūz Profile: FourOhFourFilmFactory) from Four Oh Four Film Factory - His film, UNITED WE RIDE was the winner for the Extreme Sports category at the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival 2017. Tyler Mason asked Ken what it meant to him to be on the LADFF stage, accepting his award? "It was a bit surreal for me. We did that film specifically for the drone film festival, but we actually entered it into the NYCDFF and it wasn't selected, unfortunately. We tried our luck again and entered it into the LADFF, and fortunately it was selected, it won, and it was great to be there. It seems to be a really great event, especially for the drone world. We met a lot of people at the Drone Film Festival and it was pretty eye opening." How did Four Oh Four Film Factory get it's start in the drone space and drone industry in general? "We've always had a motor sports and adventure sports-type background. Year after year it would grow until we started doing our own small projects to movies and stuff like that. Along the way we were trying to pick up our game and of course drones were a part of that." Motorsports are Four Oh Four Films main focus, what is it about motorsports and drones that just seems like a natural fit? "Motorsports are generally in remote locations where the scenery is quite unique and stunning. You want to be able to capture that and being on the ground you can't always capture the scenery. With a drone up in the air, you're able to capture all of that. Also, motorsports are fast moving and you want to have a camera that can follow the shot - camera tracking and things like that are made possible with drones and gimbals. When we started out we had to hire helicopters and gimbals was just a process; they were weighted and big whereas now they are electronic stabilized ones. Now it's a lot more fluid, it's a lot quicker, and the end result is a lot better." Ken and his wife, Amanda, run the company. However, Ken is the solo flier on shoots where you'd typically think there would be dual operators. What kind of rig, camera drone, and set up is he operating? Does he ever use dual ops? "Generally the team is just Amanda and I. It's been a catch-22, where I've taken on the role of drone operator. There's perks and challenges to this - it gets a bit difficult because you have to keep an eye on the drone and an eye on what you're filming. The perk is that you're not relying on anyone to just get the shot; if you miss it then it's your own fault." On AirVuz.com, we see a lot of FPV drones filming action sports like BMX, off-road biking, Monster Trucks, and more; has Ken ever thought of trying out an FPV quad? "Definitely. I've been toying with the idea for awhile now. There's things you can do with an FPV drone that you can't do with a cinematic drone. To be able to get up close, get a tight shot, and be right there with the action would be great. With some of the new projects we are working on, FPV drones are a lot faster, they can go in tight spaces you can't get a cinematic drone and if you do mess up, it's easier to fix than with a big, cinematic drone." What does he enjoy most about working with clients like Red Bull and others in the motorsports industry? "The thing we love the most is all the different personalities we get to work with. Some of the athletes and people we work with are almost superstars, they are very big names, and a lot of the time we find that they are very humble, laid-back, and chill. To meet those motorsports athletes is great! For me, I love to see all of these different places around the world and explore. Because it's motorsports, generally speaking it's never urbanized - you've got to get out of the cities and out in to the country towns and in to the desert to film. So, you get to see and witness places you never normally would. As a tourist, you'd never spend days out in the desert, you'd never spend a ton of time tracking through the snow, so it's great to see the world in a new way as well." Congratulations for the win at the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival, Four Oh Four Film Factory! For more highlights from the world’s best drone pilots, click HERE. And for more amazing aerial views, keep it tuned to AirVūz.com.

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