A partnership between the Wilton Family Y and Imagemark, a Wilton-based creative marketing firm, has produced some very unique images of the Wilton Y and its 20-acre campus. Sharing some of the photos with GOOD Morning Wilton to show them for first time, Karen Strickland, the YMCA’s development director, was excited about how people will be able to see the Y in a whole new—highly-defined, wide-angled and impressive—way.

“It gave us a whole new perspective on our location and the scope of the property. The last time we had any aerial shots done was probably 20 years ago, from a plane. These are just much more detailed. Especially with the ropes course, unless you’re up there, you don’t get the flavor of what that activity is all about. It’s really going to give our members and the whole community a new look for the Y.”

The pictures were taken as part of a video and photo shoot done two weeks ago by Vidifly, Imagemark’s aerial video production company. The images were all taken using small, unmanned, remote-controlled multi-rotor helicopters with a high-tech “gimbal” cameras attached. “They’re cheaper, faster, more mobile versions of what Hollywood uses. They put $100,000 gimbals under big helicopters to shoot films. We put $5,000 gimbals under $10,000 UAVs to shoot this stuff. We can shoot full hi-definition format, 360-degree immersive viewpoint,” explained Adam Pemberton, Imagemark’s managing director.

UAV stands for “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.” The UAV is controlled by an operator on the ground, while a second person remotely operates the camera. “The helicopter helps us get the impossible shot,” he said.

Pemberton said the video they’ve shot isn’t yet ready to show publicly because some editing is still to be done. But what he shared with GMW was incredibly impressive, even in unpolished form.

Pemberton, who is on the board of the Wilton Y, thought it would be a good match to show what the aerial cameras could do and to benefit the community organization.

“As soon as Adam got involved with the technology, he immediately thought of the Wilton Y, and all the activities. Our campus has so many components, between the pond and the outdoor pool and the ball fields, the ropes course, and the main building. It was the perfect showcase for what Vidifly could do,” Strickland said.

The images will be shown on video screens in the main entrance area at the Y, and will be featured in the monthly member newsletter, as well as in marketing and promotional materials. “The photos and especially the video, it opens up more opportunities to engage with our members and also potential members,” Strickland added.

aerial of carnival

This overhead image of the Camp Gordyland carnival was taken by Vidifly’s UAV cameras in early August.

exported GH3 ropes course YMCA

Shooting through the trees and wires was a complex project, given the obstacles the helicopter operator needed to navigate. It’s still much less expensive and easier to do than traditional video camera photography with cranes and large crews.