What: Reynolds Journalism Institute/Missouri School of Journalism Advanced Drone Journalism Fly-In

Where: Buckeye, Arizona (30 minutes west of Phoenix)

When: January 7-9 2018

How much: $550/person (must be paid to Tricia Morgan morganps@missouri.edu before registration is complete)

Why: You’ve got your 107. Now what? How can you wring every last bit of capability from your drone in the pursuit of journalism? The Reynolds Journalism Institute/Missouri School of Journalism Advanced Drone Journalism Fly-In is designed to help you master drone journalism. You’ll fly twice a day and have classes in between on videography, storytelling, meteorology, maintenance and logging, air traffic management and drone capabilities.

This will be different from most conferences, since we’ll all learn from each other. Each class session will have an instructor with a wealth of practical experience. After presenting, the instructor will lead the group in practical exercises to solve. Then we’ll go out in the field and practice the solutions. 

Some of the sessions we have planned:


-- Integrating drone storytelling into daily video storytelling. We all can’t do scenics in Alaska, so it’s imperative to work aerial footage into  our daily stories. We’ll go through some tried and true aerial editing techniques, but also discuss how to use autonomous flight software to get more accurate and telling shots.

-- Shot planning and storyboarding. There’s no limit to your creativity. There is, however, a limit to your batteries. Planning and storyboarding your shots ahead of time can save you time and money. 

 -- Aerial videography. There’s lot of ways to get that footage from the air. But what’s the best way to capture it? What camera moves and industry secrets can transform your aerial storytelling from humdrum to wow?

-- Critiques. Bring your best aerial storytelling to the group and we’ll critique it, ask questions and talk about what worked and what didn’t. 

Technical skills

-- Intermediate meteorology. You know enough weather to have passed the 107 test. But what’s next? What else do you need to know for when it’s truly safe and when it’s not? We’ll enter the world of aviation meteorology in a way that’s very specific to drones – what do you need to know to operate safely at the low altitudes we fly at.

-- Air traffic management. Flying a drone in crowded airspace is a challenge. You have no radio communication with other operators and you need acute situational awareness. We’ll take some lessons from air traffic controllers so that next time you’re at a scene you can establish a safe airspace. 

 -- Logging, tracking and maintenance. As we all know from the 107, FAA inspectors have the right to ask for your records at any time. The key to a good defense is good record keeping. We’ll look at the platforms that are out there to help you do your job better. But we’ll also look at drone management and logging as a way to build proficiency at what you do. 

Register Here: https://goo.gl/forms/xR4Hr9b1g2Egjdpm2 

Please do not book flights/transportation until we have 20 people enrolled. Once you sign up I will notify you when we have reached 20. Thank you. 

Q: What’s the actual schedule?

A: We’ll have the first session the night of Sunday Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. The first flight session will be the next morning at 7:30 a.m. We’re still getting the schedule together, but Monday and Tuesday will include flight sessions at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will be classes, video critiques and exercises in between.

Q: What does my registration fee get me?

A: Working lunches and dinners on Monday and Tuesday. Attendance at all sessions. Flight time. All materials.

Q: Do I need to have my 107?

A: Yes. This is for people who have passed the test and have spent some time in the air.

Q: Do I need to be a journalist?

A: No. But the practical exercises and many of the sessions are going to be focused on journalism usage.

Q: Who will be teaching me?

A: The fly-in is led by Judd Slivka, who teaches drone journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and leads the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s drone journalism program. Other faculty will be experts in their respective fields.

Q: Where will we be staying?

A: We have a room block reserved at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites-West in Buckeye, Arizona. The room rate is $149/night. We’ll have a room code sent to you when you register.

Q: Where will we be flying?

A: We’ve secured a permit to fly at a nearby location. We have 53 acres of Class G airspace with no one underneath it to fly in.

Q: Will it be just free flight?

A: No. Some of the flight time will be free flight, but others will be applying lessons learned earlier in the day.

Q: Do I need to bring my own drone?

A: We’ll have a few drones to use, but you’ll want to bring your own set up to get the most value out of the trip.


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