KZN Film Brings Drone Technology to KZN Youth

Contact  – Mu Ngcolosi
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KZN Film Commission brings Drone Technology to KZN Youth

The KZN Film Commission’s vision and mandate  is to be a catalyst for transformation, job creation and sustainability through funding, human capital development initiatives and the promotion of KwaZulu-Natal. The film commission aims to intervene in the area of skills development, which includes internship Programmes for film school graduates, both within the institution and the industry in the province as a whole. The vision of the KZN Film Commission is to promote and market the province as a global destination for film production, in doing so addressing historical imbalances in the infrastructure and in the distribution of skills and resources within the film industry in the province, and ultimately market KwaZulu-Natal as a choice film destination.

As part of the Human Capital Development programme, the KZN Film Commission has officially launched The Drone Technology Training programme. Since 2014, when the use of drones in filmmaking became legal, aerial footage captured by drones has become so common that we barely notice it. Drones were introduced into filmmaking as cheaper and safer alternatives for some helicopter shots.

They could pull off high-and-wide shots, so long as they weren’t too high, sweeping shots, so long as they weren’t out of pilot’s sight, and not much else. The past 5 years drone technology has improved, and so has the imagination of the filmmakers who are using them. Better camera gimbals, more durable hardware, and more sophisticated software has enabled cinematographers to push the limits of aerial cinematography. We’re seeing cameras fly full-speed towards cars and sweep up seconds before collision

With this in mind, the KZN Film Commission, opened applications for students to apply and be part of the first Drone Technology Programme and receive their Drone Pilot Lincense. The applications criteria was targeted at students who have received their official Qualifications in Cinematography Camera Operation through any accredited Higher Education Institution. After a vigorous selection criteria, the “crème dela crème’ were selected,  seven students were officially awarded the opportunity to participate in the KZN Film Drone Technology Programme. They will be trained on the Drone Technology and at the end of their training, the learners will receive their official Drone Pilot License. The programme will run for a period of 5 weeks through the Accredited Starlight Aviation Academy in Viginia Airport , Durban KwaZulu- Natal.

Students will be afforded the opportunity to have the programme split into two and will incorporate the following:

  • > Three week Ground training at the training centre
  • > Two week Practical Training that will take place at the flight centre in Ballito, Durban KwaZulu-Natal.

At the end of their five week training the students will receive their accreditation which will be a certificate and official Drone Pilot license.

Talking on the programme, Carol Coetzee, Chief Executive Officer; KZN Film Commission, had this to say “ This programme will be the first for The KZN Film Commission as part of 2021 Training programme, this showcases how the KZN Film Commission is truly invested in youth development within our province and film space. KZN Film Commission is an entity that strives to stay relevant; in tune with the relevant trends and technology within the film industry.”

The drone technology has changed our world in film, it sends eyes where our bodies can’t easily go unencumbered. A GoPro camera attached to a bird of prey shows us where the bird wants to go, which clues us in to what it’s thinking. Drones, as of now operable only by humans, tell us what humans find visually interesting. More and more, drones are finding their way into the creative world.

About the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission

The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is a provincial state entity, under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa established in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Commission Act, 2010 (Act No 3 of 2010). Its mandate is to facilitate support throughout the value chain to the local and international film industry through creating opportunities and also growing the KwaZulu-Natal film industry.


For Media enquiries contact
PR & Media Specialist, KZN Film Commission
Zanele Khomo
082 901 1144

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