Australia’s Madeleine Dudley uses drones in her broadcast career and film projects reaps big rewards.


Tell us about yourself and your background.

I’m a motion graphics designer from Sydney working for a broadcaster here called SBS. I started in the TV industry after finishing my Visual Communications degree at the end of 2016. During my period of study I was fortunate enough to spend a year overseas in Austria where I really got to take the time out and focus on my filming and photography.

How did you get started in the drone industry?

In 2014, I’d saved up a bit of cash and was looking at what to spend it on. I’d always been interested in filming and photography and thought I could enhance my skillset by purchasing a drone. I bought a Phantom 2 and didn’t really know what to do with it but through messing around at the local park with my dad, learnt pretty quickly. (Although had a few mishaps along the way!) From then I’ve used these acquired skills to shoot for leisure and also for the TV station that I work for.

Tell us about your organization and your role there.

Day to day I mostly animate trailers, social videos and on-air graphics but I also have the opportunity to shoot footage for bumpers on one of our channels SBS Viceland. For the most part these are drone shorts of iconic Australian landscapes.

Industry Experience:

What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?

I like that it feels like the future, that it’s a technology on the rise and makes what previously was a very expensive camera shot very accessible.

Do you have a success story you would like to share?

Dron’t You Love Me? was accepted into the New York Drone Film Festival last year so it was pretty cool to get to go to The States for the first time. It was also selected in a range of other film festivals but most recently and a definite highlight was the memorable BLUE2BLUE Drone Film Festival at Avoca Beach this year. This was a real privilege on many levels. To be included in Australia’s first Drone Film Festival was a huge honour and to take out the BLACKMAGIC DESIGN “Best Fiction” category and UAVAIR Award was a real surprise. More information about the BLUE2BLUE Drone Film Festival can be found at

What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?

It is an exciting time to fly drones, in a period where gender inequality and underrepresentation is being addressed. I think previously we wouldn’t have had a voice whereas now, we’re starting to become more and more recognized.

What You’ve Learned:

What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry? 

It’s going to sound stupid but it took me a while to decide that I liked low flying drone shots than your average “send the drone up pan around” shot. I heard a talk from Philip Bloom who encouraged us to fly low and use the drone to acquire stable shots that go just above the ground or just above the tree tops etc.

What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?

That prop guards exist when you’re first learning! 😉

Is there a tip you learned you would like to share with other women in the industry?

Be confident and secure in the fact that drones do not lend themselves more to one gender. There is no advantage that males have over females when it comes to flying drones so don’t shy away from the industry even though femeales may appear to be underrepresented. Minority is not synonymous with inferiority.


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Madeleine Dudley

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