Hang Gliding With the Padcaster Verse

This month Padcaster was fortunate enough to accompany Food Network producer and travel vlogger Isabelle Courtney on an afternoon video shoot, interviewing expert hang glider Jimmy Donovan. Courtney interviewed Donovan about his love for the high-flying sport as well as what it takes to allow a human being to fly through the air. Utilizing the portability of the Verse Mobile Media Kit, not only was Courtney able to interview Donovan on a mountain top, but Donovan was also able to film his afternoon flight despite being thousands of feet in the air. Watch the interview and then read Isabelle’s experience in her own words below:

As the creator of my own content I was so excited to find out about AND THEN GET TO USE the Verse in a live interview at a hang-gliding launch. Being able to hold it steady with the handle made it almost effortless to have a conversation and get beautiful shots at the same time. I loved how light it was compared to the heavy cameras and equipment I've become so used to carrying around. At the end of the interview I had to run out into the field to meet the hang-glider as he landed and there is no way I would've been able to do that trying to steady a big heavy camera.

I think all of the parts that come with the Verse Mobile Media Kit make it a perfect and simple yet professional filmmaking tool (windproof microphone attachment and all), but I would say that in my opinion the most useful aspect of it is its smartphone compatibility. So many people think you need to invest in an expensive camera to make great content but with this you can see how much is possible with what most people already have. It also adjusts to different sized smartphones which I thought was a great addition.

I think if you're a vlogger or even just someone who enjoys filming with your smartphone, filming selfie-style, or carrying your camera with you all over the place, this would be an extremely helpful and handy tool to have, especially for traveling. It's lightweight and durable to come along for all of your adventures.

Whether I'm producing or filming, I'm always running here and there with my camera in hand. It's so important to me that the equipment I have be portable (preferably as light as possible) so I can take it with me everywhere and say yes to every opportunity. It definitely gets a lot of use, is held by many hands, and sometimes is thrown into backpacks, so I can honestly say that I appreciate when a company builds a piece of equipment to be durable. The Verse passed both of these tests with beautiful flying colors.

It was a very exciting day; my first experience with the Verse and with hang-gliding! I do this because I love learning about our world and with each new person gaining a new perspective. I had never witnessed someone hang-gliding, no less up close for the preparation, take off and landing. Once he took the leap off the cliff's edge, we watched the hang-glider fly higher and higher until he looked like a small bird in the distance. Watching this and having the ability to capture it all in real time had to be my favorite part of the experience.

I knew very little about hang-gliding before this interview but was instantly inspired to try it after watching him take off and fly on his own. He described the feeling as blissful. I've always thought it would be wonderful to be a bird- so I would without a doubt try it for myself one day.

I'm currently working on a Plant-Based food project for the Food Network, which I've actually used the Verse for! Sometimes you need two cameras to capture all the best shots and having the Verse makes it so much easier to do with less of the strenuous equipment. It also comes in handy for those up close and personal shots. I plan to continue using it for many of my projects to come- from meditating with monks in Thailand to volunteer with children in India. I cannot wait to capture it all.

-Isabelle Courtney


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