MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — EyeAerial is a small business out of Zimmerman, Minn. founded by two friends who turned a hobby into careers.
If you’ve never heard of EyeAerial, chances are you’ve seen their work. They record aerial cinematography using drones and cameras. It first started as a hobby for Josh Kunze, who is the co-owner of EyeAerial, Aerial Media Solutions.
“It started out strictly as a hobby and people kept seeing my stuff on YouTube and they said ‘hey, can you come shoot this … can you do this’, so I thought, ‘hmm,'” said Kunze.
Now, Kunze and co-owner Franco Nicolich shoot video and sell the drones. Franco says that’s where they really make money.
“This setup is $2,500 with a GoPro camera included,” Nicolich said. “And that will include us giving you an hour of training.”
The quad propeller drone they demonstrated in downtown Minneapolis is about the size of a large pizza box with a GoPro camera attached. They also have a larger drone almost the size of a picnic table that can hold a DSLR camera. Each drone has a three-motor stabilization system.
“No matter how much turbulence the quads hit up in the air the camera is always silky smooth,” Kunze said.
The drones can travel up to one kilometer in air, about 3,000 feet. But the Federal Aviation Administration only allows the drones to travel 400 feet. Also there are strict rules when flying near an airport.
“So you cannot take off within 1.5 miles of an airport,” Franco said.
Kunze says there’s software built into the quad that automatically prevents anyone from abusing the FAA’s rules.
Kunze’s videos have gone viral. He’s flown his drone into some fireworks and recently shot footage for a motor cross movie called ‘Butter All Moto Flavored!’ NBC used some of EyeAerial’s footage for their show ‘Revolution’.
“It’s exciting to see the footage we shot on national TV,” Josh.
For Kunze and Franco, it’s just another day having fun with their hobby turned career.