My name is Tony Carlin, Creative Director of Cinematic Sky and with the launch of my new website i thought now might be a good time to introduce myself and let people know a bit more about me and how i fell in love with drones.

Several years ago i came across some footage on YouTube of what turned out to be a drone fly-by of the Redcastle Hotel in Donegal.  The footage wasn't great, it was shaky, grainy but the view was something unlike anything i'd ever seen.  After a bit of research I found out it was filmed by one of the first DJI Phantom range of drones. At that time drones were totally unheard of in the mainstream but I quickly became infatuated with them and the creative possibilities they opened up and purchased one shortly after.

I was no stranger to cameras and creating videos as had graduated from University with a 1st class Honours Degree in documentary making a few years earlier but even so, filming with a drone is a completely different skill and it took me time to get to grips with it. In the early days there were no drones with integrated camera systems so all the parts had to be bought and put together manually with a GoPro strapped on the bottom. They didnt have a lot of the advanced features that drones today can boast, it took much greater control and skill to pilot them smoothly but it was a great learning experience for me and undoubtedly improved my own piloting skills hugely.

Droning became my new favourite hobby, I spent my spare time flying around Derry, Donegal and later across Northern Ireland in search of epic views to film and started to share my pictures and videos with friends. It was only after making a video of Derry at Christmas that I truly understood the commercial potential of drones after the video racked up over 60,000 Facebook views in a week. It was then I started making plans to turn my creative hobby into a commercial film business.

In the summer of 2015 i became one of the first people in NI to complete a Permission For Aerial Work (PFAW) certification from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which allowed me to fly commercially and I haven’t looked back! Year on year the business has grown bigger as we have expended from our base in Derry to operate across the country and as word has spread about Cinematic Sky, we have been lucky to work on some really exciting projects that has seen our work featured on TV and film.

My drone is now much more advanced, capable of recording ultra HD 4k footage and my skills as a pilot have also improved massively compared to when i started off but my love of flying and the thrill i get of capturing a unique aerial view of a location is as strong as ever! 

Check out our 2016 showreel below