Drone technology takes corporate production firm to new heights

David Kent, from Suite Nine Productions, talks to Newbury Business Today's Sarah Bosley

Sarah Bosley


Sarah Bosley

Drone technology takes corporate production firm to new heights

FROM an early age David Kent was destined to have an artistic career.

When he was just four-years-old, his parents were called into his West Sussex school for the teacher to highlight his drawing prowess.

That creative flair has never left him and now he heads up his own corporate video production company; Suite Nine Productions.

At the age of 16 years he went to West Sussex College of Art and completed a two-year diploma in design, before going on to gain a BA (hons) in graphic design at the prestigious Camberwell School of Art, in London.

After finishing his degree he went on to work for a major UK events company in London, rising to become the senior creative designer, working on blue chip corporate projects.

It was here, in 1986, that he got his first taste of video production and editing.

“In those days everything was on tape,” he explains. “It is all so different now, with everything tapeless.

“I think the biggest change to the video industry in recent years has been the massive increase in internet speeds, which has allowed businesses to harness the potential of having a video on their website or embedding it in marketing emails or just utilising YouTube to increase traffic to a website.

“Video increases your rankings on Google whatever your product or service and there is no better way to showcase it [your product] on your website.

“With video appearing in seven out of 10 internet searches and 25 million potential customers watching videos on the internet in the UK alone, it’s very exciting times for the profession of video production.”

And it was that excitement which led him to set up his own business a few years later – moving home and business out of London to Newbury in the late 80s.

Creating videos for a huge array of clients involves a lot of travel, particularly overseas and it is a perk of the job that David says he certainly enjoys.

One particularly memorable trip that always sticks in his mind is a visit to Cape Town in South Africa.

“I really wanted a dramatic shot to open the video so we mounted a camera on a helicopter and flew as fast and low as we could across Cape Town bay until quickly lifting and circling around Table Mountain,” he explains.

“The client was thrilled with the end result, which is after all what it’s all about. That was a nice day at work.”

Over the years he has worked with a number of blue chip companies, including Tesco, Mercedes-Benz, KwikFit, Pfizer and Nestle.

But it was his experience with the helicopter in South Africa that has now influenced David’s latest offering.

He has recently acquired three drones and describes his move into working with them as ‘fantastically exciting’.

“Drones literally go to places cameras couldn’t get to before,” he adds.

“The possibilities for drones for corporate film-making are particularly exciting as the costs are very reasonable and can give even a modest video budget a touch of Hollywood.

“UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are not only great for outdoor filming but can produce amazing footage in large indoor spaces, such as factory production lines, large office interiors and warehouses.

“The possibilities are endless.”

After bringing in a drone operator for a video – and seeing its full-potential showcased on a 40ft wide screen at a conference – David decided he should start using them himself.

He has now worked hard to achieve all the relevant Civil Aviation Authority permissions and licences needed to operate drones commercially in Britain – and there are quite a few.

“With my job I go to lots of different places around the world; it’s all very exciting and it is always ever changing,” he enthuses.

“I love the process of working closely with my clients to create videos that really help to get their message across in a professional and cost-effective way.

“It is an absolutely brilliant job. How could you not love it?”

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