Elena Buenrostro has a new perspective when it comes to her passion for travel
Tell us about yourself and your background.
Hi, I’m Elena Buenrostro, producer, director, writer, host and drone enthusiast. After graduating college with a B.A. in Visual Arts & Theatre in 2011, I started my career as an educator teaching K-12 the video production process. I love teaching and its very rewarding, however, I still had a creative itch that was not being fulfilled. So, in 2013, I landed a job as a producer, writer and host for my own travel show. I had the privilege of producing and hosting a nationally airing television show titled, Behind The Gates on WealthTV, where I toured some of the most luxurious properties around the world. I also featured classic car, luxury yacht shows and French castles to 20.5 million households across the nation, parts of the Caribbean and Asia, (Boy, do I wish I had a drone back then).
After my time as a producer in the TV industry, I decided I wanted to enmesh myself into the social media world where I believe the future of video lives. So, in 2014, I made a career move and started working for a San Diego social media start-up company called JumbleJoy.com. As their first Video Producer, I branded and built their video team and created over 300 viral DIY and cooking videos reaching a combined audience of over 100 million. Currently, I continue my work as a Video producer, director & host for a media company in San Francisco called brit.co where I work on online class education, original content and FB Lives. In my spare time, I create my own content with my DJI Mavic Pro.
How did you get started in the drone industry?
I decided to buy my own drone after flying a friends and discovering new ways to creatively capture footage for my video projects. Additionally, I wanted to document my upcoming travels with a different perspective. My first trip that I documented would be the Great Wall of China, (yes, I usually tell myself, go big or go home). This particular location is so vast to comprehend that I knew I needed to buy a drone to help document my trip to the Great Wall of China.
Tell us about your organization and your role there.
Currently, I am a Video producer, director & host for a media company based in San Francisco, CA called brit.co where I work on online video education, original content and FB Lives.
You recently traveled to China to film the Great Wall of China. Tell us about that experience.
This was an experience of a lifetime. First off, I have always had a fascination with the Great Wall of China since I was a child. This was before I was a filmmaker. Then when I finally booked the trip to go and hike the Great Wall, I wanted it to be the most memorable experience but also something I documented in a unique way. With this in mind, I decided to buy my first drone. I made no mistake doing this since I was able to capture the most stunning footage I have ever shot in my life. I decided to take an off the beaten path hike on the Great Wall where it has not been reconstructed or re-built, so this might just be the first time this part of the wall was shot with a drone, but I cannot confirm. I can definitely say I am not only extremely proud of hiking the great wall but possibly also capturing some unseen footage of this part of the Great Wall.
What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?
The thing I like the most about this industry is the ability to capture footage that is so creative, unique and unexplored. There are so many possibilities when it comes to flying drones. I do it for the footage since I am a filmmaker but there is also this adrenaline rush you get from controlling a flying object in the sky that gives you the sense that you are flying yourself and that is a great feeling! Until I learn to fly a plane, this is as close as I am getting to being a pilot.
What’s your favorite type of project and why?
My favorite projects are travel series. I love to capture places that I have never seen before.
Do you have a success story you would like to share?
Yes! My trip to the Great Wall would have to be my success story. I was so nervous to go out there and fly my drone because of the high wind and it was my 3rd flight with the Mavic (my new drone) as well as my first time traveling with it. I had a lot of doubts once I got up there about flying. For one, I was in the middle of nowhere in a province right outside of Beijing where the wall has practically been untouched for years, it was a bit windy and I was a bit nervous about losing my new drone. However, I did not let any of that stop me. One set back I had was that I did not fully charge my controller, so I had a nervous feeling about it dying. Although, the drone batteries died before the controller, I was still freaking out that I did not fully charge the controller. After I flew my drone and got all the footage I set out to get, I was so relieved and excited to get back and see my footage.
What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?
I think the most exciting thing is that not many women are flying drones and those who are will be the first to tell you that its very empowering and completely fun! Its my new found hobby and I wish I had bought my first drone years ago. I think its also an exciting thing when women explore hobbies that people think are only for men and who says that’s the way its supposed to be? I think some things tend to attract men than women and drone flying seems to be one of those things. So, for those women that are exploring this industry, is just us making history like we always do.
What You’ve Learned:
What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?
Definitely, the ability to take photos over footage. When I first began flying, I was so tied up on getting beautiful footage that I did not even think to capture photos. I recently started taking a lot of photos with my drone and I make sure I always get some snap shots while I am in the air.
What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?
How to adjust my settings manually for video.
Is there a tip you learned you would like to share with other women in the industry?
Explore various shots and don’t be afraid to go over water.
What’s the best way for W&D readers to connect with you?
The Final Word:
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Women and Drones Community?
If you’re thinking about buying a drone for the video or photography shots, do it. If you’re thinking about buying a drone to feel like you can fly, do it too. 🙂