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Aerial video shoot
Telecom students use drone for aerial video shoot at NSU
students with drone
Telecom students Darin Cooper and Gabe Odachowski get ready to "take flight" at NSU.
Lateef Gibson photo

Two Telecom students "spread their wings" recently by completing an aerial video shoot on the campus of Norfolk State University using a drone.

Gabe Odachowski and Darin Cooper, both juniors at Menchville at the time, worked with NSU's Communications and Marketing department to capture the video that was needed.

The shoot was set up by NSU Video Producer/Director Lateef Gibson, who is himself a 1994 graduate of the NNPS Telecom program. He is also an adjunct professor of Mass Communications at NSU.

"The Communications and Marketing department wanted a video-heavy website," Gibson said.

Aerial footage of the campus seemed like something that could be used in various videos - on the website and on television - so Gibson reached out to Telecom to see if the students could get the video using the Telecom drone.

Gibson had recently come to Telecom as a guest speaker, and furthermore, the Telecom students are dual-enrolled at NSU, meaning they receive college credit there for some of their high-school TV production coursework.

Ray Price, Supervisor of Telecom, of course had Gabe and Darin in mind when he was asked for students who could do the shoot.

"Gabe is a talented drone pilot and Darin assists with the shooting," Price said.

"It's hard for one person to do it," he explained.

Telecom's drone is a Mavic Pro, and the students use an iPad mini with it as the screen for recording video. The iPad slides into the controller set, so all the controls are together. The Mavic Pro is collapsible, can shoot 4K video, and is one of the "hottest new drones out" according to Price.

new buildings
NSU's Nursing Building (left), Communications Tower (center), and Lyman Beecher Brooks Library (right)
Photo: NSU website

For the shoot, NSU's marketing team wanted to highlight some of the new buildings on campus.

"We were restricted because of construction," Gibson said, "but there were key places that we were able to capture."

The Nursing Building, Communications Tower, and Lyman Beecher Brooks Library were the main things the videographers concentrated on.

The video will be used for multiple purposes, like on the university's new website, for marketing materials, and for videos that air on NSU-TV, the on-campus television channel.

"This is something that can actually be used throughout the years," said Gibson.

The NSU staff was "shocked that they were juniors in high school, and how professional the footage looked and how professional they were at operating the equipment," Gibson reported.

"They did an awesome job," he said.

NSU aerial shoot with drone:
Photos by Ray Price and Lateef Gibson