One of our awesome supporters recently purchased an item off of our Amazon Wishlist to help our media program continue growing. Say hello to Lola!
Lola is taking our media program to new heights. Literally. She's a DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter drone with a Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal for our GoPro. In layman's terms, Lola is a miniature helicopter that stabilizes one of our cameras as it flies through the air. She can self-stabilize if a gust of wind hits her and can get some pretty crazy aerial shots of whatever we need.
This past weekend here in Memphis, TN we had amazing weather with some decent wind gusts, so we took Lola out for her maiden flight with a few of our top supporters. It was a fun 90 minutes and we learned a lot. Here's a few key takeaways:
- She's very user-friendly. Lola is kind of like a real life video game. The remote controller is essentially an over-sized controller for a video game console with two joysticks, a few switches, and no buttons.
- Practice makes perfect. There's a little bit of a learning curve if you're going for certain types of footage such as circular panning shots. Lola does a great job at keeping the camera steady, but it's going to take some practice to smooth out her actual flight path with better muscle and visual memory.
- Her range is insane. We flew Lola so high and so far away we almost lost sight of her a few times. When we turned her around she came right back home.
We've needed to add a drone to our media department for over a year now. Our documentary films and campaign videos are already incredible, but Lola gives us the ability to continue improving for the next few years. There's a slew of new types of footage and photos we can now secure thanks to this technology, which means we can inspire more and more people to join our movement for peace and justice in Sudan.
So, what's all of this actually look like? Check out the below video we shot of our first test run with Lola:
We Gotta Ask: Why'd You Name It Lola?
Because we're super nerdy. A lot of our top supporters and staff love, love, love the TV show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you haven't seen it, you can binge watch the first season on Netflix.
Agent Phil Coulson, the primary character in the show, owns a sweet red hovercapable 1962 Chevrolet Corvette that he lovingly calls Lola. Maybe our Lola isn't quite as cool as Agent Coulson's, but she doesn't need to know that.