Panel To Discuss The Future of Drones in Cinematography, Commercial Production And Business

The use of drones in cinematography, commercial production, and more than 300 identified commercial market applications will be addressed in detail by a panel and speakers participating in a daylong series of seminars taking place this Thursday, April 23rd, at the Roosevelt Hotel (45 East 45th Street) in New York City. The series of panels is being sponsored by leading ProAV solutions provider Stampede (, North America’s leading provider of comprehensive unmanned aerial vehicle offerings, training, and support programs custom designed for business customers in virtually every commercial market.

According to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, the panel discussion and three seminars are open to the public, who can register either at or on site on the morning of the event at the Roosevelt Hotel starting at 8:30AM. “If you have ever wanted to learn about how to creatively and cost-effectively incorporate drones into a feature film, a television commercial, a television show, a documentary, or in a real day-to-day commercial application from broadcast news to security to search and rescue, you will not want to miss these amazing sessions that are being led by some of the most renowned pioneers in the field.”

The sessions will kick off at 10:00AM with a panel presented by Systems Contractor News, the world’s leading AV/IT systems integration magazine and moderated by editor-at-large Kirsten Nelson. “Drones: The Next Wave of Innovation in the Sky” will zero in on the more than 300 applications that are driving consumers and commercial end-users to incorporate drone technology into their personal and professional lives.  The panelists will include Fred Bivetto: Dean, School of Unmanned Technology, Unmanned Vehicle University; TJ Diaz: President and CEO, XFLY SYSTEMS INC.; Kevin Kelly: President and COO, Stampede; Lisa Ellman, Co-Chairperson, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group at McKenna Long and Aldridge, LLP and; and Eric Jameson, CTO and Drone Technology Specialist.

Lt. Col. (Ret) Fred Bivetto joined Unmanned Vehicle University straight from the USAF Test Pilot School (TPS), where he served the Director of Curriculum Standards and Chief Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Test Pilot with responsibility for the development and maintenance of $37M, 1200 hour, Master of Science accredited flight test curricula with over 22 years of engineering, aviation and project management experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in National Security, and is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. 

TJ Diaz is the CEO of XFLY Systems, the manufacturers of the innovative xFold drone that is designed and built for aerial cinematography. TJ is an experienced Aerial Cinematographer, Founder and CEO of XFly Systems, and IT Professional. He has thousands of UAV flights under his belt and countless hours of designing, building and testing Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for Aerial Photography and Videography. TJ holds executive sUAS certifications from Unmanned Vehicle University and is a corporate member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Lisa Ellman is a Counsel in the Washington, DC office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and serves as Co-chair of the firm’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group. She is also a member of the firm’s Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs practice. Lisa uses her experience in the Federal government to help bridge the sizable knowledge gap between government policymaking and business innovation. In February 2015, Lisa was featured in Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” series for her efforts to develop policy to govern drone use in the domestic United States.

Mr. Eric Jameson is an Instructor at Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU) where he teaches a range of survey classes on UAV’s and sensor systems. A career Intelligence Officer with the United States Air Force (USAF) with over 25 years of analytical, instructional and operational integration experience, Mr. Jameson has served in numerous combat zones from the Tactical to the Strategic level and has worked with all combat related, manned and unmanned USAF platforms. He began his career as a Target Intelligence Specialist with a reserve F-16 unit, where he was awarded numerous Outstanding Performer awards and deployed to contingencies supporting OPERATION DESERT STORM, OPERATION DENY FLIGHT, OPERATION DECISIVE EDGE, and OPERATION NORTHERN WATCH working with a variety of USAF aircraft and sensor systems.

Then at 2:00PM, Unmanned Vehicle University, the only university in the world licensed to offer graduate degree programs in unmanned systems engineering, will take the stage to host a seminar entitled “Overview of the Drone/UAS Industry and Business Potential” that will discuss recent FAA initiatives, the impact of these initiatives on commercial markets and job creation, and what steps can be taken by entrepreneurs to capitalize on this rapidly growing industry.

At 3:00PM, ZM Interactive (ZMI) will host a seminar entitled “Drone Aerial Cinematography” that really says it all. ZMI is an interactive media company with over 15 years of experience and thousands of projects and clients around the world in different markets such as entertainment, pharmaceutical and health, gaming, sports, government and security and other technology projects for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Visa, Microsoft, xBox 360, eBay, Paypal, Pink Floyd, Symantec, YouTube, and many more. Company co-founders TJ Diaz and Ziv Marom will discuss their use of drones in feature films and television production.  

This New York event will also serve as New York market introduction of the new line of XFold ultra-professional multi-rotor platform drones, which will be introduced in the fourth and final seminar entitled “xFold Drones—Technical Configuration Training” at 4:00PM.  This seminar which will feature TJ Diaz of XFLY Systems talking about how to build and configure the xFold drone platform for major motion picture video, shooting in high winds, shooting with dual cameras for 3D, and lifting of more than 200 pounds of cargo.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for professionals involved in entertainment, broadcast news, documentary production, and a wide variety of vertical end-user markets to learn about drones from the masters of the field,” Kelly emphasized.  “Ample opportunity for questions and answers and networking will be provided.”