Description: On this episode of The Drone Dish, Tyler talks to Blake Asbury and Austin Smith from LA_Drones, who offer premiere aerial services ranging from cinematography to custom drone work. Their clients are top tier businesses such as Intel, NBC Universal, MGM, ESPN, and the NFL. You might remember them from the 2017 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Challenge, when they assisted the Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon with a drone slam Live in front of millions of viewers! Hear how they got started and more on this week's episode!
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And for more amazing aerial views, check out AirVūz.com VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Tyler Mason: Blake and Austin from L.A. Drones, thanks for joining us here on the Drone Dish. Blake Asburry: You bet. Austin Smith: Thanks for having us. Blake Asburry: Thank you. Tyler Mason: You guys are pretty well established by now in the drone community, but tell be how L.A. Drones got its start back in the day. Blake Asburry: Yeah. A few years ago a friend of ours came over and he had this super old Phantom One drone and had a GoPro attached to the bottom of it and we were like, hey let's go take this thing out and just fly it around and see [00:00:30] what happens. What really was the aha moment was when we plugged the GoPro into the TV and watched what footage we had taken and it was just unbelievable. The perspective that we got at that point, just living in the same area for so long and you felt like you had never seen it. You know you seen it for the first time from the air, from a perspective that you usually don't get. Austin Smith: For us it was kind of like. All right, let's go for this thing. We've got buddies who wanna let us fly through their house or do this or that. Then [00:01:00] the demand grew and grew and then finally we said, you know what, his is for real, let's go after this. Let's drop what we're doing and really pursue this and these different markets. Tyler Mason: That's come a long way since the Phantom One and the GoPro obviously as you can see behind you guys. Tell me a little bit about what L.A. Drones offers. Obviously videography and some imagery as well, but it looks like you guys do a little bit more than just that too. Austin Smith: Yeah, for sure so it definitly started [00:01:30] in the aerial cinematography realm. Now I think our most unique value ad is definitly in our custom engineering robotics sector, obviously working a lot with Intel and take some of their tech with them and for them. Tyler Mason: One of the things you guys have done for Intel is a slam dunk contest. So you guys partnered with them and entered garden of the Orlando Magic. Talk to me a little bit about that project, what it was like building that drone and what it was like to fly it on the night of the actual event. Austin Smith: That was kind of one of those things [00:02:00] where it was actually Erin Gordon's idea, someone from Intel saying hey can you guys do this. We built a prototype, showed 'em what it looked like and sure enough they liked it a lot. It just kind of kept growing and growing into this thing. Then we're just like oh my god, this is actually going to happen. It definitly was surreal, until after the event to finally take that deep breath and go wow, that just happened. Thank God he made the last dunk, or else who knows if we would even [00:02:30] be having this conversation right now. Being down there the pressure is like any other sporting event. The pressure just kind of goes away for that time period and then before and after you're kind of nervous. When you're in that moment, you just ... Something else takes over where you just have to focus and get it done. Again, thank God he made that last dunk or, I don't even know. That was awesome. [00:03:00] It was a dream come true. Tyler Mason: Was that the most high pressure job you guy have had? How does that rank compared to some of the other big time shoots you guys have done? Blake Asburry: Yeah, most definitely. I mean when you're talking about that many people watching on live TV, in the millions. Then every super star and celebrity on the planet in the stands with their phones out Snap Chatting it. Yeah, that was definitly the most nerve racking and it's live TV so you're on a very tight schedule down to the seconds. Austin Smith: If you screw up there. [00:03:30] I mean, potentially game over. Even career wise, even company wise. It's a deeper break situation 100%, so yeah. Definitely. Tyler Mason: You guys have done not just a dunk contest, but a lot of other stuff with sports, including some actual sports. What is it about drones and sports that seem to be a perfect marriage. Blake Asburry: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the sports and operating drones, it kind of goes hand in hand, 'cause it has that competitive kind of feel to it and skill. Tyler Mason: You guys have done a lot of [00:04:00] really cool shoots, a lot of big clients. Do either of you have a favorite shoot that you've done or favorite project you've worked on over the years? Blake Asburry: Going to Poland was really cool and filming over there and Katowice. Just seeing a totally different landscape. We've shot out of L.A. We've shot out of a lot of the U.S., so getting up in the air and checking out a country like that, was really eye opening. So I'd say that's right up there for me. Tyler Mason: Cool. I'm jealous [00:04:30] of the work that you guys have done here. It's pretty awesome. I enjoyed watching it and learning a little bit about it too. Appreciate you joining us here on the Drone Dish. Austin Smith: You bet. Blake Asburry: Thank you. Austin Smith: We appreciate it. All right, thanks guys.