Kelowna cinematographers offer a fresh perspective of the Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna cinematographers offer a fresh perspective of the Okanagan

The UAV camera flying over the fields at Parkinson Rec Centre.
Image Credit: Julie Whittet

KELOWNA - Shawn Talbot and Jan Vozenilek have been flying under the radar – in more ways than one.

Just yesterday they officially launched Rubicon Aerial Cinema in Kelowna but they already have a solid list of clients looking for a new lens on the Okanagan landscape.

That perspective comes 200 feet above ground – or what Talbot and Vozenilek call the “sweet spot” for aerial cinematography.

By mounting a camera on a miniature remote control helicopter or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Talbot and Vozenilek are going where few photographers have gone before.

Film shot from a full-sized helicopter is typically limited to a range of 500 to 1,000 feet above ground, but the aerial vehicle can easily hover at altitudes under 400 feet.   

“It's a perspective that's been unavailable until now,” Vozenilek says. The small eight-blade rig can navigate between anything from doorways to trees.

“It really is a fantastic new way of seeing the world.”

Rubicon is currently the only Okanagan company on the cutting-edge frontier of aerial cinema and with contracts for Sparkling Hill Resort, FortisBC and Tourism Kelowna they're poised to dominate the niche market. 

It's a big feat for the two-man operation. While Talbot pilots the rig, Vozenilek remotely operates the four-pound camera capable of switching from still photography to video seamlessly.

At a market value of around $25,000, Talbot says their UAV is top of the line.

“It's all german electronics, that particular unit is as good as it gets,” he says. Powered for up to 15 minutes in the air, an average shoot can take as little as three to four minutes.

“That doesn't seem like much but for shooting time it's actually a lot.”

They weren't always using such sophisticated technology. Both worked for the Vancouver film industry and in aerial photography before their fortunate encounter in Kelowna. It was just six years ago Vozenilek approached Talbot with the idea to combine their talents at new heights.

While their work has taken them across the world, including a trip to Iceland, Talbot says Kelowna is their choice location.

“We both love the Okanagan, Jan moved up here because it's awesome," he says.

Beautiful images aren't the only focus of their lens. Fire departments and search and rescue teams have got a close eye on Rubicon's technology.

"We've got a demo for search and rescue next week, to show what we can offer for rescue operations."

For now, the duo is focused on cinematography.

Come September Vozenilek and Talbot will be setting up their launch pad on Bernard Avenue. While the street closes down for its third phase of renovations, the pair will embark on a groundbreaking shoot of the city's main street at sunrise.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at or call (250)718-0428.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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