H2O Magazine


Interview with Hermes Bonzagni, producer of films for tourism promotion and pioneer of aerial shots with drones

Well Hermes, let’s talk about your experiences in this sector.

The shift from my 30 years’ passion for photography to video productions has been astonishingly rapid and gave me full satisfaction in my search for new perspectives and emotionally captivating framings. The two languages integrate into one another and do not overlap, but the dynamism and creativity of the video framings have totally conquered me, thus directing me towards them and the new technologies connected with them.

In the early 2000s the first images filmed with cameras suspended by meteorological balloons (blown up by helium and held back by a cable) gave you the chance to “see” things from the zenith, expanding the field of vision and catching overall details which couldn’t be seen from the earth.

And what about drones?

Once you have tried this aerial view, you cannot do without it any longer, on the contrary you wish to soar more and more and look at things with a bird’s eye! Mankind’s dream of flying is indulged and encouraged to try and see the world from above in “panorama mode.”  Well, that’s it….nevertheless birds don’t keep still on the vertical axis of a subject!

This new age of aerial filming, which has literally been booming over the last two years in several applications, has arisen from this consideration and from the first news on the then pioneering quadricopters, which had the surprising possibility of making the camera fly.

By creating one of the first agencies specialized in the use of this technology and involving the best pilots of these RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems), I caught the potentialities of the many possible uses, led by my passion for fly fishing, to realize naturalistic and tourism promotion films for the FLY FISHING world.

Oftentimes, when I came back from one reportage, my fishing shoots didn’t do justice to the majesty of the landscapes and wonderful locations! A framing often didn’t include many details, thus making the result poorer or it sometimes happened that, with the aim of expanding the field of view, you ended up by enlarging and distorting the images with exaggerated wide-angle lens.

The drone goes everywhere and has a very good vision (in HD), and it is discreet and silent, as it is electrically powered and fed by lithium batteries. Moreover, it doesn’t “invade“ the mountain environment, but becomes part of it. Fluctuating and moving lightly, it brushes against the water or rapidly flies over 100 m high, goes up the river beyond the fall and then near the startled fisherman with his bent rod, so as to film the catch and last jumps of the fish before the latter surrenders exhausted to the landing net.

For a fisherman to have his fishing days and catches documented in such a way and with a captivating soundtrack is like reliving the emotion of his experience every time. The technological development and the evolution of the materials have created the ideal conditions for the production of reliable drones with extraordinary flying autonomy. In the sector of video cameras the lightness of the new models and the filming quality (4K and more) represent a perfect union for their aerial use.

The spectacularity of aerial shoots has conquered the motion-picture industry as well and our troupes are often sought after by big Majors for films with a Black magic camera flying, carried by very powerful hexacopters equipped with a GPS and other safety and flight control systems.

We know that their use has been regulated, hasn’t it?

Considering the uncontrolled mass proliferation of unidentified flying objects (UFOs really exist now), in 2014 the Italian Civil Aviation Authority ENAC regulated the sector with strict rules which foresee the certification of pilots and airliners, as well as the necessary authorizations for flying over critical areas (urban areas) and compulsory insurance coverages for every company regularly registered and authorized to operate.

We have seen your films for fishing promotion in Trentino.

Thanks to our acknowledge competence and experience some fishing associations and tourism promotion authorities, among which is that of Trentino, have  chosen our group for the production of fishing films and for the promotion of the territory, thus modernizing with spectacular and captivating video the charm of the valleys and watercourses under their competence.

Even private tourist-accommodation establishments have understood the importance of offering their potential customers a view of their establishment and above all its location, thus giving an added value to their website with a video-clip including 360° aerial images.Even the most beautiful photos are not as captivating as a video… which excites and conquers the customer instead.

Who are the best ones in this sector? Except you, of course…

Today New Zealanders represent the world’s benchmark for video productions on fly fishing, also thanks to their extraordinary territory with unique locations. Exciting films are realized after filming for several days with detailed shoots and a “story” which skillfully mixes shots well suitable for a naturalistic documentary and captivating scripts that every fisherman would like to experience.

In this other part of the world, on the contrary, the leadership has not been established yet and our ambition, supported by professionalism and experience, makes us wish to soon confront ourselves with the best video makers of FLY Fishing movies. We took part at the Tell me Fishing contest  where tens of videos (even amateur ones) contributed to promote this wonderful activity, which becomes a true life philosophy of respect for nature.

Have you got any future projects?

We are planning an important production for lodges and fishing reserves in Austria and Norway.


Thank you, Hermes.


By the editorial staff


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