Jackery Stories/Empowering Professional Drone Photography
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Ben Mortensen & Rudi Browning

Empowering Professional Drone Photography

1. Who are you? (please introduce yourself and what you do).

Ben: My name is Ben Mortensen, and this is Rudi Browning. We are the owners of Profly Cinema.

Rudi: Profly Cinema is a professional aerial filming company servicing the film industry with our work predominately in TV Commercials, Cinema, and high-end social content. Ben and I met through drone racing at the age of 12 years old.

Ben: This was while racing competitively all around Australia and internationally. Through our journey as professional drone racers, we became best mates, and now have the privilege of working together on some truly awesome projects across Australia and overseas.

2. What Jackery product do you have currently, and how has it helped you?

Ben: The current unit we're using on set is the Explorer 1000 Pro. With the help of the Solar Panel system trickle charging the unit, we keep the majority of our batteries charged throughout the day.

Rudi: We charge a variety of battery types to power a wide range of drone services we offer. The main chargers that power off our Jackery unit is our Inspire 3 charging block and custom Lipo charging case for all our custom-built Cinema FPV drones. The Explorer Pro can comfortably output enough Watts to charge our batteries in a respectable time frame. In remote locations with no access to power, our Explorer unit allows us to keep our drones in the air longer.

3. If given the chance, would you still choose Jackery's Solar Generator 1000 Pro, or replace it with a different capacity product?

Rudi: That’s a good question. The 1000 unit is ideal for most of the charging we require. It's portable, but also has enough storage for most applications. On more rural shoots and jobs that require more flights and charging, the 2000 unit would be a desirable upgrade. Ben and I would be curious to see how many extra flights we can get with the larger unit. However, in the meantime, the 1000 Pro fulfills most of our needs.

Ben: Extending on what Rudi said, The Explorer 1000 pro is a great system, but whether we would change for a different capacity unit is totally job specific. Some shoots don’t require much flying, while others we will be tracking a subject or getting beautiful wide shots all day long. In a perfect world, we would have a variety of capacities that we would pick out depending on the brief and conditions of the job. Additionally, another couple of solar panels could help to increase charging speeds of the Jackery unit when demanding a lot of power from it.

4. What advice do you have for people aspiring to live your lifestyle?

Ben: With regards to advice, we can offer what has worked for us but at the same time we are still young and still learning. Drone racing started as a hobby for Rudi and I, and quickly turned serious when we were selected for team Australia and racing competitively around the globe. With the pressure of competing for your country, we were forced to become highly accountable and responsible from a young age. Looking back, these circumstances prepared us for the challenges and mindset needed to run our own company at a young age. For teenagers looking to follow a similar path, regardless of the industry, this is what we suggest.

Find something you enjoy and be the best you can be at it. Master that skill and learn to apply it to different industries that may already have a use for it or may not realize this is something they need. The journey to success is very rarely a short one. It takes persistence and discipline if you want to be the best at what you do. Keep this in mind and if you want it bad enough, the chances of you achieving it are high. These are the processes that Rudi and I have been applying over the years and continue to in our journey to being one of the leading drone film providers in Australia.

Rudi: I agree with Ben. I hear a lot of people say, "Don't get into business with your friends", but who else you going do business with? Someone you don't like? Owning a company with my best mate is something I will never regret. Yes, sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but overall, we have the best time together. We celebrate all the highs together, and support each other through challenges. I love what we do and where we are heading in the future, and definitely wouldn’t change it for the world.

5. Do you have any crazy stories or wild adventures that you would like to share?

Ben: We have many amazing and incredible experiences on film sets over the last few years. Ben will tell us about our trip to New Zealand.

Rudi: Mid 2023 team Profly travelled to Rotorua in New Zealand. It was winter and very cold so quite an adjustment from our hot Brisbane weather. The shoot was for the countries ultimate Zip Line, Canopy Tours. With Graeme Murray as our Director/DP for the project. We spent 3 days working our way along all the zip lines and filming talent riding the lines with a variety of drone services we offer. With the dense forest and remote locations, the only access points were along the zip lines guided on the tours. This was a challenge as we had to send our gear and ourselves, along with our crew, down every zip line to the next platform. We had to be very mindful when strapping our expensive drone and camera gear to the lines, and also careful of the hand launches with the drones due to the limited space of our takeoff areas. Platforms are located high in the trees and were a great test of our skill as operators flying from such unique locations.

Ben: That was an amazing trip. Another great experience was earlier that year when Ford booked us to shoot their racing team at the Finke Desert Race. Cars racing off one by one with the dust so thick you could barely see 50m in front of you. It was an amazing experience — the noise, the sound, the atmosphere. I'm very much looking forward to next year - to see what we can do. A lot of our work requires travel and allows us to see all the incredible rural landscapes of Australia. We've been to salt lakes in South Australia, deserts, beaches in West Australia, and everything in between. Such an experience is has been! We can’t wait to see where our work takes us as we progress through 2024.

Rudi: Yes, well summarized Ben, but it doesn’t end there. Along with the beautiful beaches there where huge private yachts, large stadiums, Formula 1 races, and more. I mean the list goes on - I can't even remember them off the top of my head, but all are quite the experience.

6. Anything else you would like to share?

Ben: On behalf of the Profly team, we would like to thank Jackery for sending us their 1000 Pro unit and Solar Panel. It is something that we frequently use and take on almost every job now. It gets a lot of use.

Rudi: We've got quite a lot of interest from other departments on film sets regarding our portable power station. This is always great to hear - definitely some curious minds. We're excited to see where our journey in the film industry takes us over the years to come. There have already been some huge successes and we are not even close to done yet. Thanks to all those that support us. If you too would like to follow us on our journey, make sure to check out our Instagram @profly_cinema.

You can learn more about Ben Mortensen & Rudi Browning from their Instagram handle: