Lynchburg College’s video productions will reach new heights with the help of a video drone recently donated by a student’s parents.
Jeff and Jan Winemiller have given the College a Chroma Camera Drone that provides high-resolution aerial photography and videography. On Monday, they delivered the equipment to a student video team working in the Office of College Communications and Marketing.
The gift is a token of appreciation for the experience that their daughter Jaye Winemiller ’18 has had at LC. As a first-year student, she took part in the women’s soccer team’s national championship season, a challenging academic experience in the Westover Honors Program, and an eye-opening study abroad course in Costa Rica.
“Her Lynchburg experience has been stellar. It’s been transformative,” said Jan. “We are really grateful for that, and we’ve been looking for an opportunity to express that gratitude.”
Video drones combine Jeff Winemiller’s personal and professional interests. As a microwave broadcast engineer, his expertise has helped capture and broadcast 11 of the past 13 Olympic Games, professional bicycle races, and other athletic events. He also has served major sports arenas that now use wireless broadcasting to share footage from their events – everything from aerial video of the game to “kiss cams.” He began piloting remote control aircraft as a way to relax and de-stress from his demanding entrepreneurial ventures, but the hobby soon turned into another business. The Winemillers’ HobbyTown retail franchise, Time Flys, recently expanded to offer an airfield and driving course for RC aircraft and cars in Harford, Pennsylvania.
Jan recently attended a soccer match at Shellenberger Field and thought about how aerial videography could help the College capture athletic competitions and other events, as well as the beauty of campus, from a new angle. After inquiring about what capabilities would be most helpful to LC’s video production efforts, she and Jeff selected the Chroma drone for its ease of use and image quality.
Equipped with a 1080-pixel high-definition camera with self-stabilization technology, the Chroma drone delivers crisp, clear, steady images and video. The four motors power the aircraft for up to 30 minutes at a time without recharging. An easy-to-learn remote control gives pilots precision steering control, and several features provide for safe flying and landing. They also donated a few smaller drones for training and practice flying.
Jan said she is pleased to foster the growth of student videographers by donating equipment that CCM’s student video team – currently consisting of graduate assistant JP Lopez ’14 and student worker Danny Czerkawski ’16 – can use to stay on the cutting edge of video technology. She looks forward to seeing what they produce to showcase the College’s life-changing programs.
“Once you have a flexible tool like this, the sky’s the limit,” she said.