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The $20,000 book trailer

I’ve had a few people ask me about the origins of WildBlue Drones. The actual idea for starting this company began with a need I had for some video footage for use in a book trailer. I have a book coming out on March 26, 2024. The idea behind a book trailer is to summarize what the book is about and create interest in the story, just like a movie trailer. For my book trailer, I wanted a specific drone shot of a water tower. The water tower had the name of the town where the crime took place.

I did some research on what it might cost to hire someone to get the footage I needed. Since this location is in rural Kentucky the closest big city is Nashville. I might have found someone closer, but this was a good starting point. One thing I noticed was that most of these drone operators require that you contact them to get a quote. I didn’t want to spend all day calling people just to find out what it would cost. Another thing I discovered was that many of the drone companies that appear on the top of search results are companies that aren’t local, but instead, contract out the work to local operators. That means that you’re not only paying for the drone pilot, but you’re paying some overhead for the company doing the advertising. My best guess was that it was going to cost somewhere between $600 to $1,000 for this single shot.

My next idea was to look into the possibility of purchasing a drone to shoot the video myself. Here again, the starting point was right around that $1,000 range for a drone that could get what I wanted. Around this time I saw an ad on Facebook for a seminar about starting a drone business. I thought, why not? I’m retired. I don’t play golf when it’s 100 degrees outside. I could easily find three or four days a week where I could go out and earn a little extra income. Additionally, I happen to like creating things. Creating videos and photos and editing them in programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere appealed to me. So, I paid the $250 and signed up for the seminar.

What I learned at the seminar was that there is a growing demand for drone footage thanks to lower costs and technological advancements in drones. The company that put on the seminar, the Sky Eye Network (SEN), offered a complete blueprint of everything you needed to start a drone business, complete with branded brochures, tutorial videos, and much more.

The $20,000 is the approximate cost of going from zero to operating a drone business in the state of Texas. This includes all of the camera equipment, drone, startup costs, website, insurance, and other necessities like an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. If nothing else, I have a great book trailer and some new skills that I’m sure I can put to good use.

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