Profile: T.U. graduate Grant Wiseman captures “epic” vision with film drones

Time continues with each tick of the clock, and the world is in a constant state of change. This is most apparent in technology, which continues to innovate day after day. One example of new technology that is quickly becoming commonplace are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), often referred to simply as drones.

As the original name implies, UAVs are machines that can be operated without a person needing to sit in the cockpit. This can be achieved through an operator with a controller, or, with the help of modern technology, artificial intelligence.

“Drones can be used for a number of things, such as military surveillance, transportation of packaged goods, or cinematography.”

Drones can be used for a number of things, such as military surveillance, transportation of packaged goods, or cinematography.

Grant Wiseman, a University of Tulsa graduate and small business owner, first discovered drones near the end of his college career, when a friend of his bought a miniature drone for recreational use.

Wiseman went on to buy one for himself, and his fascination did not stop there. He later got invested in building first-person-view (FPV) racing drones—light, high performance machines, capable of flying at speeds of 80 to 90 m.p.h.—with intentions to compete. Though he never managed to get involved in any competitions, Wiseman eventually accepted an opportunity to help his TU circuits lab instructor manufacture a carrier drone, capable of holding various electronics.

“I saw this drone lab, and was like ‘woah,’” Wiseman said, describing his surprise at finding such an elaborate space for working on drones on campus.  He volunteered for about five months, when his prior instructor informed him of an upcoming drone competition, and that he should film the event with a camera drone.

“That was what actually what motivated me to start [my drone] business,” Wiseman said. “Stable, film drones were really boring to me, until I looked into it. I had no idea what I was doing. When I was not working, I was learning how to make videos, edit pictures, develop a website, etc. It was a three-month long grind, learning how to establish a business.”

Wiseman quickly stepped down from his job at Reasor’s and went all in on establishing a network of clients, stating that he “started off by sending mass emails to every realtor. I was writing custom emails to each one. It was so much work. It did pan out and it ended up getting me my first clients.”

Wiseman found the transition to cinematography to be a smooth one. He had produced music during college, obsessed with capturing a feeling of “epic.” This passion carried over to his filming.

However, Wiseman soon recognized that he still had room to improve.

“I was overconfident, and I had my first client who was not happy with my work, and it was a harsh blow, but a necessary one for me to grow,” he said about his first experience receiving negative feedback. “It just really shook me up and motivated me to reevaluate my product and reestablish what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

Wiseman once again hit the books, hoping to further improve and expand his filming capabilities and knowledge.

“I learned that pro cinematographers with drones do what’s called a duel setup. Basically, you have a person flying the drone, and a second person operating a camera that’s completely independent.”

Using this technique, a film can capture dynamic panning shots. An example Wiseman gave was an action shot, with the camera flying over a tree, whilst also following a car driving on the road.

“With cinematography, I’m think of starting with lower budget camerawork, and working with student films, local commercials, anything that can use aerial shots, and continuing to work with real estate. Discounted prices and higher quality are what I’m really pushing for right now,” Wiseman said, laying out the plan for his Bird’s Eye film business moving forward into the future.

Drones are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s world, and as they become more available to consumers, and students, their uses will only continue to expand.

For more information on Grant Wiseman’s business, visit birdseyefilmandphoto.com.