A former Royal Marine and stuntman has overcome personal tragedy to tower over his rivals with a sky-high new business venture.
Access UAV is run by Blake Sporne and provides aerial photographs and films using flying cameras.
The firm has met the requirements set by the Civil Aviation Authority, following help from the British Legion and the Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust.
Blake said: “I understand the value that the aerial images we produce can be for potential clients. You simply can’t get these stunning shots from anything else.”
Blake came to Rugby as a video analyst for Rugby Lions in 2011 under coach Neil Back. But along with other backroom staff, he was never paid, with the club’s owner leaving.
He says he “struggled during the season to keep a roof over his head”.
In September 2012, with mentoring from the British Legion small business start-up team, he began the journey with the idea of flying cameras from his work in over ten years in the film and TV industry.
Blake said:“The technology is now accessible to the general public and you see more and more TV production teams using them to great effect in natural history programmes and sports. I want to give that same accessibility to a wider audience and market”
Personal tragedy struck in the planning phase with the loss of his mother in October 2012. However, this only motivated Blake to make the project succeed and he forged ahead with his plans.
Potential clients include golf courses, chimney surveys, promotional or corporate videos and an archaeological digs.
The camera flies up to 400 feet high. Access UAV has ambitious plans to add to its fleet of aircraft with larger models so larger cameras can be carried over the next two years. But smaller cameras are coming on the market can be flown almost anywhere. Infa-red and heat source cameras can be integrated too .
Blake also intends to add Sports Analysis to the business but, at the moment, his feet are firmly on the ground, as he concentrates on marketing a business that can truly take his clients ‘above the competition’.