College uses drone to collect footage

Keene State College recently used a drone to collect film footage for future use.

College officials contracted with MJ Herson, an event-planning and multimedia company with offices in Maryland and New York, to shoot footage of the campus last week for future use in promotional videos. The device, known as a quadcopter, is propelled by four rotors and is controlled by a person manning it from the ground, said Kathleen Williams, the college’s marketing and communications director.

“We invited this film crew to come to our campus to give us some perspective shots we can’t get for ourselves,” Williams said. “The intention was we would shoot buildings, and not people with the quadcopter. It would be looking at flying past buildings and getting aerial shots we’re not able to get on the ground.”

Because arrangements were made with MJ Herson only a day or two before shooting took place, and since the effort was to occur early in the morning when activity on campus is minimal, Williams said her department did not see a reason to alert other campus departments or students about the presence of a drone-like piece of equipment ahead of time.

Campus safety referred all questions about the project to Williams.

Due to heavy fog that morning, the operation was delayed until the afternoon, exposing more students and staff to the device’s presence, Williams said.

“We’ve had some conversations on how we might handle this in the future,” she said. “The intention was to be as unobtrusive as possible. In fact it happened so quickly, we put together this opportunity to bring this crew onto campus and capitalize on the good weather.

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