Written by | Tom Comet
This job was another example of “we got this crazy call and then…” which is actually how a lot of our jobs start out now that I think about it. In this case the company was WrightXM and the job was twofold. First off, they wanted a TV commercial featuring a drone that was to play a character role on screen and deliver a 2kg jar of Bicks Pickles. Of course this on screen “hero drone” would be filmed by one of our camera drones chasing along behind. The finished TV spot was to draw attention to the Bicks Pickles Drone Delivery Contest. This leads to the second half of the job, where our team would travel somewhere in Canada and drone-deliver two jars of pickles and $5000 to a lucky contest winner.
The brief from our client was that we had to build a drone that had some personality, and represent the company well on screen. Obviously it also had to safely and reliably carry and deliver its payload as well. Our drones, as you probably know, are usually the off screen crew on a film shoot, carrying cameras and other mission critical payloads. For this job the drone would play a starring role. Hooray!
We got to work customizing one of our Medium Lift drones with Bicks vinyl branding, and then added cute little head lights that looked a little like eyes. We often brand our drones for shows but this was a little more detailed then we had done in the past and our branding team had some fun with it. A key component was the payload hook which took a lot of testing to get right. The hook had to be 100% secure in flight, yet easily be able to drop off the jar of pickles with the flick of a switch by the operator remotely. Safety was our prime concern here, not to mention the fact that Transport Canada does not take kindly to drones accidentally dropping anything from above. It is actually forbidden that aircraft drop anything, for good reason, and this is mentioned in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs); we were obviously very, very careful in this regard. Eventually we got it just right, and after many days of testing, we were ready for the job.
All the pickle drone appearances worked flawlessly, and this project was a whole lot of fun. The onscreen commercial can be seen HERE. Now we wait in anticipation by the phone wondering what adventures that next call will bring us. Who will want what delivered with a drone, and just how our team will pull that off? Bring it on!
• Pilot – Stefan Marchand
• Drone Assistant / Drone Safety – Patrick Leschinski
• Drone Camera Operator – Bernie Martin
• Observer – Tiffany Hayes
• Administration & Branding – Taryn Krueger