top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlex Kavanagh

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

G'day everyone,

Alex Kavanagh here, the founder and creative director at DRONEGEAR Productions. It's been a while since I've last written a blog post, but I'm thrilled to be back to share some incredible news with you all.

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of winning our first daytime Emmy Award for a short episode on Patagonia we produced. This episode was shot and edited for Making It Media, and it was featured in the series "Wonderful Places" on Amazon Prime Video. The journey to this achievement was both challenging and rewarding, and I'd like to share the story behind it with you.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a remarkable opportunity came our way. Director Robert Parks-Valletta was on the hunt for nine filmmakers, each tasked with creating an episode about a destination that held a special place in their hearts. Our task was to weave a short story using pre-pandemic footage we had in our archives. After a conversation with Robert and his team, I knew that Patagonia was the ideal destination for my episode, having visited it twice in the previous two years.

With newfound determination, I delved into my hard drives, fired up Premiere Pro, and began the laborious yet passionate journey of creating this episode. None of this would have been possible without the incredible work of my dear friend and director of photography, Hugo Bordes, who captured the essence of these locations in a raw and cinematic manner back in 2018. Hugo, thank you for your invaluable contribution.

During my second trip to Chile and Argentine Patagonia, I was granted access to a private property just outside Torres del Paine National Park, thanks to my then-girlfriend and now wife, Lesley Murphy, a travel writer at The Road Les Traveled. This property was none other than the breathtaking Tierra Hotels Patagonia. The hotel manager generously allowed me to legally fly my drone here, which led to the shot that defined this episode.

On a particularly windy day, with gusts reaching 50-60mph, I had almost given up on flying my drone after a long day inside Torres del Paine National Park, where drone usage requires a permit. However, as we arrived at Tierra Patagonia, something extraordinary happened. Lesley's friend, Emily, spotted a single guanaco perched on a small grassy knoll. Miraculously, the wind seemed to calm instantly, and the sun emerged from behind the clouds, casting its golden light on the breathtaking Torres del Paine.

I swiftly set up my drone, and as I approached the single guanaco, it quickly noticed the drone and started to walk away. But as I raised the drone higher, an astonishing sight unfolded. Twenty more guanacos appeared just 40 feet away. With a safe distance of 70 feet, I tracked the herd of guanacos as they began running in formation. I slowly flew from right to left, capturing one of the most awe-inspiring drone shots I've ever seen. It wasn't just the guanacos' mesmerizing run; it was the entire scene: Torres del Paine's majestic mountains in the background, the sun setting, and the light filtering through the patchy clouds, with a tranquil lake in the foreground behind the galloping guanacos.

In that moment, tears of joy welled up as I witnessed this breathtaking spectacle. It was an

emotional high, a singular experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. The beauty of that fleeting moment was captured and preserved for all to witness, and I'm grateful to have had the privilege of recording it legally.

Flying drones overseas can be a daunting task due to strict local laws, especially in places like national parks where permits are notoriously hard to obtain. It's essential that we respect these laws to protect these extraordinary locations. I felt privileged to capture a moment of such remarkable beauty while adhering to the rules and regulations.

This is the story behind the Emmy Award-winning episode that we produced, shedding light on the challenges faced by drone pilots and the beauty of being ready when the moment unfolds. You can watch our full "Wonderful Places" episode on our Instagram account through this text link.

If there's one thing this episode motivates you to do, it's to embark on a journey to Patagonia. Leave your phone behind, immerse yourself in the beauty of one of the numerous National Parks, and as the day comes to a close, savor an El Calafate beer while you witness the mesmerizing sunset

Thank you for stopping by and reading the story of our Emmy Award-winning achievement. Stay tuned for more blog posts, where we'll be sharing exciting productions we've been working on recently.

Cheers, Alex Kavanagh

169 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureAlex Kavanagh

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Five years ago, I was attending the NAB conference in Las Vegas (an industry-standard event for most of us) and stumbled upon one of the greatest new American companies: INOVATIV.

A company was developed from the frustrations of a professional filmmaker for not having a functional film production cart and much needed accessories for the ever evolving film industry.

At NAB, I got to speaking with Patrick Blewett, the Founder and CEO. Patrick proceeded to tell me the history on why he started the company. He began it in order to fill the void of a functional and lightweight film production cart that was portable, yet strong enough to carry all of the newly designed gear & accessories for the film industry. The name says it all: constant innovation to improve the tools and workflow of our trade.

As a working drone pilot in Los Angeles and part of the dynamic commercial film industry, I needed this cart so I could utilize it on all the various productions I was working on. I fell in love with the INOVATIV Scout 42 cart and proceeded to order one in the weeks following NAB.

Having a Youtube channel and reviewing drones and camera gear out on location had its challenges for me before buying this cart.. I would always be looking for a park bench which was usually covered in aviary waste (aka bird shit), or having to carry a fold-up picnic table, and here I am trying to review a product a company sent me. This was not a good look, and after enough crappy park bench review videos, I had this incredibly portable and professional looking INOVATIV 42 film cart! I could do my reviews anywhere now without a problem.

In the below pictures, you can see over it's use six months and I wanted to thoroughly use it on many different productions before doing our review for such an important piece of equipment.

Watch our in depth review below which showcases the cart being used for multiple different uses in the film world, which includes Drone, FPV, Heavy-lift, Steadicam, Movi/Ronin 2 gimbal, and DIT applications.

Above, in the middle pane, we're using the DJI Inspire 2 for a car commercial in downtown Los Angeles. Pictured on the right, we're using the Voyager 42 for camera prep for a Miracle Grow campaign.

Five years on, and hundreds of locations later, my first Inovativ cart is still going strong. Not one part has failed me! The only hiccup that has happened after years of use is a flat tire. My good mate Hugo Bordes who is a cinematographer at Motive Visuals borrowed my cart back in the day actually got the flat tire once, which was was an easy fix. Hugo soon purchased the Echo 36 after using mine and loving it.

Below is my review which best sums up my thoughts of the Inovativ Voyager 42 after 6 months of solid use on countless productions. It showcases the cart being used for multiple Drone platforms use, Steadicams, Movi/Ronin2 platforms, and DIT:

I hope you enjoyed the review video by DRONEGEAR Creative Director, Alex Kavanagh.

We're very excited to be now on the INOVATIV Ambassador Team!

154 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureAlex Kavanagh

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

DRONEGEAR has used the DJI inspire 2 drone since it’s release in November of 2016 and are still using it on a weekly occurrence for various productions worldwide. An important piece of gear you can’t work without as a professional aerial cinematographer is a solid drone case.

As working drone pilots, we need a sturdy case to get our gear from location to location safely. We’ve flown drones in Patagonia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Australia and New Zealand as well as all over the United States for various film productions. I can safely say I’ve thoroughly tested the Pelican flight line series DJI inspire 2 case.

When out in the field flying for a client, I use the top of the case to set up the drone if I don’t have my Inovativ cart handy. Recently in Utah for a Honda Talon commercial, we used our Pelican case as a mobile work station. Here, we utilized the top of the case to launch the inspire 2 when in sandy/desert locations to prevent dust from covering the lens and drone.

When out in the field flying for a client, I use the top of the case to set up the drone if I don’t have my Inovativ cart handy. Recently in Utah for a Honda Talon commercial we used our Pelican case as a mobile work station. Here, we utilized the top of the case to launch the inspire 2 when in sandy/desert locations to prevent dust from covering the lens and drone.

What I love about Pelican is that after 10 years of being a customer my cases are all still in working order. You’re hard pressed to find much these days that lasts more than 3 years.

Since buying my first case for my custom hexacopter drone when I first started in the film industry in Sydney, Australia, Pelican has been the industry gold standard.

In this line of work we need reliable cases that will get our equipment safely to wherever the job is.

Here’s the full review video below with the breakdown of all the features of what to expect in this case.

Check out the custom made DJI SSD reader and memory cardholder case we co-designed with Pelican.

These two review videos were not paid for by Pelican. We do receive free products from Pelican but our views and opinions are our own.

215 views0 comments
bottom of page