News, Views, and Random Thoughts
It's often said that turning your hobby into your job can kill the passion for your pastimes. I recently took the risk and spent a fantastic few days on the River Tay in Scotland making a film for the Cargill salmon fishery. The shoot didn't feel like work for a minute and after the cameras and the drones were packed away, I had the chance to relax with a few days fishing. Sadly the salmon were not in the mood to take a fly but there's always next year. We're very keen to develop our fishing film offer so do get in touch if you wish to use video to promote your business. Video is now the most powerful way to reach the customers you need to connect with. Video is 1,200% more likely to be shared on Facebook than a text based article.
Simon Torkington

It’s not yet two weeks since a small majority voted for Britain to leave the European Union.

In all of the political chaos that’s followed, Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England has been a rare stabilising voice. Within hours of the result the Pound went into freefall and banking shares dropped alarmingly. Mr. Carney stepped in to calmly reassure financial markets that Britain’s currency and its banks were still in a strong position. Any emerging risk would, he added, be mitigated by the central bank. Within a week of the Brexit vote the markets looked stable and the currency freefall had been arrested.

For millions of businesses facing the uncertainty of the Brexit vote, a clear well communicated message has perhaps never been more important. You’ll want to come across more like Mark Carney and less like the spokesman for a major London property agency who told the Evening Standard:

“The whole thing is a disaster. The uncertainty will cause markets to crumble and who knows when that’s going to get better? There’s no end to how far prices could fall. If you are a vendor you’re going to have to sell at a much lower level.”

To me that just communicates blind panic. The message to buyers is, if you buy in London now, you are likely to lose a lot of money. The message to vendors is, don’t bother putting your property on the market as you won’t get the price you want. Both positions are enormously damaging to the spokesperson’s business which relies on buyer confidence and a good supply of properties to sell.

This was a missed opportunity to show the company was prepared for the consequences of Brexit and that even amid the uncertainty there were still opportunities. They could have communicated a calm, professional response and a message that would bolster their business rather than damage it further. Something like this would have been so much better.

The Brexit vote wasn’t expected but London will remain one of the world’s great cities even outside of the EU. The drop in the value of Sterling means London properties are now cheaper for foreign investors so we expect that sector to continue to thrive. Vendors may have to revise down their expectations a little but with the right property and right buyer there are still great deals to be made for both parties.

None of us really knows where the Brexit vote will end as it’s apparent that the political class has no plan. But as the process of leaving the EU moves forward a clear message that supports your business will be critical. And as Brexit takes shape it’s likely you will have to revise that message to keep up with the emerging realities of life outside the EU.

Our media trainers can help you develop your message and coach you to deliver it confidently in all sections of traditional and social media.
Another full-on week. Through Aero Productions, I've been helping a Turkish network broadcaster set up a UK operation in London. TRT World intends to start broadcasting daily bulletins from here shortly; sadly you won't see them in the UK (unless you stream the channel live via their website) but that is sure to change, as the channel has grand international plans.

A hardworking team from Istanbul have been fitting out TRT World's plush new studio in Oxford Circus. They've finally installed the new set, which is a bit of a relief as the temporary one had a flimsy plywood desk that teetered if anyone so much as breathed on it. I think you'll agree it looks pretty good.

Meanwhile, some interesting news from the drone world in this week's Guardian newspaper. It seems there's been an explosion in drone images posted on social media - Instagram reports more than 1.6m pictures are now tagged #drone, and video views have gone up by 40%. We have found increasingly that businesses and individuals are now routinely requesting drone images as part of their promotional package.

The problem for professional outfits like us is that drones are easily available - from £350 on Amazon - so anyone can fly them, and people are often unaware of the rules and regulations regarding drone operation. In many cases it's illegal to fly drones without permission. Nevertheless, aerial images undeniably add an extraordinary 'wow' factor to stills and images, and are delivering a whole new dimension to marketing strategy.

So, onward towards the EU referendum vote. Who knows from which side of Europe we'll be writing our next blog? The future is an undiscovered country.
It's been a busy week for Aero Productions. First, we decided we needed a brand new website to match our brand new business model. We still fly drones, but we have now expanded our services to encompass a full range of video and stills images for websites, conferences, social media, and corporate films. Plus, we now provide media training as part of our portfolio. Well. let's face it. Simon and I have been in the media business for several decades between us, so who better to show you how to deal with reporters?!

We've also been engaged in our individual projects. This week, I was dispatched to Hong Kong to make a video for the stem cell research company VetCell Therapeutics Asia. It was part of a series of films commissioned by ITN Productions. It's fascinating stuff; we were filming with dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, a painful condition making it very hard for them to walk. They were taking part in a clinical trial, one of the first of its kind in the world, to see if stem cells from healthy donor dogs would reverse the symptoms. My cameraman Mark had to don a surgical mask to film the trial in progress, which involved injections deep into each hip joint of the canine subjects. We'll know in three months if the theory works, but already the vets involved say it looks very promising.

Meanwhile Simon went off to the white cliffs of Dover to film inserts for Aljazeera's special coverage of the upcoming EU Referendum. He flew the Inspire drone 500 metres out to sea, which produced some amazing shots. It also allowed the reporter, Barnaby Phillips, to do pieces-to-camera standing on a clifftop while the drone hovered above him. The final pictures were very impressive, and should be on screen by the end of this week.


We thought we'd have time to catch our breath this weekend - but then Simon got a last minute call. Could he film a wedding at Moor Park Golf Club? Of course he could. No rest for the wicked.