Send in the drones

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the morning with real estate agent, Doug Trudeau, who piloted the first Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)-approved drone flight for real estate marketing purposes. In order to receive that exemption, the Tucson agent had to meet an exhaustive list of conditions as well as register his aircraft with the FAA.

"I'm doing it legally, because I see it as a matter of ethics and integrity." said Trudeau. But it's also a matter of providing his clients with a full arsenal of tools to close the sale. "To me it's just a tool that I use with my other video tools to bring out the best of the house so that the seller can get their highest dollar amount and the fastest sale for the home."

In order to fly the quadcopter Trudeau brought along his private pilot with UAS experience to control the aircraft; the two collaborate on assignments often.

Pausing to take in the moment, Doug spoke about what this means for him. "I've been invited to shoot video in Nevada; I was invited to go to Maui!...This has been a fantastic adventure for me."

As for me, this was my first on-location audio shoot, which brought about a new set of acoustic challenges all their own. On the upside, the weather in Tucson couldn't have been better! Following a June rainstorm, the early desert setting was perfect to witness Trudeau's inaugural flight (although standing next to film crews from KVOA, KGUN, and KOLD I felt a little outgunned with just my Canon T3i in tow). What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?

Victor Mercado

SOUTHWEST DESIGN LABS, TUCSON, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES