Courses emphasize creative storytelling with high production values. The classes teach students the art of cinematography using drones, as well as the different ways drones can piloted safely, following Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations.
Each student is issued a small personal drone and starts by learning how to fly in a controlled environment. As students advance, they move on to medium-sized models that can fly for several miles. Eventually, students take the controls of a large professional drone manufactured by DJI, the industry’s largest company. Students who complete the program will be fully qualified for employment as cinematographers and aerojournalists, prepared for federal certification.
“As a student in the first semester of this class, I appreciated it, and I'm glad I registered for it,” says Weilin “Willie” Liu (MA 2016, Communications & Media Technologies). “Before this, I had no chance to learn or even to touch a drone, although I had heard about them many times. In the class, our instructor [Patrick Egan] taught us the most accurate way to fly the aircraft and, more important, the rules of flying drones—both the law and the ethics.”