Bayman’s Garage Media had a fantastic opportunity to acquire aerials of Spokane’s iconic Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist for KSPS Public Television last fall. The goal was to use our drone to get otherwise-inaccessible shots of its classic gothic exterior and to take viewers high inside the towering place of worship.
True to Spokane, the fall brought days of constantly changing weather which made scheduling the shoot difficult. St. John’s Cathedral is near Sacred Heart hospital with its medical helicopter helipad. After contacting several authorities, including the FAA, the day for flying came with a near-miraculous weather window. Despite the challenges of occasional winds, the sun shining through a cloudy sky made for some spectacular 4K shots of the exterior of the building.
The biggest flight challenges were inside the cathedral.
“There’s no GPS signal, no auto-stabilization, so it’s all manual control,” says FAA-certified pilot Kirk Bayman. “In a building as big as that, you deal with unpredictable air currents that change depending on air conditioning or temperature. You’re flying in narrow spaces around 100-year-old stonework, antique light fixtures, priceless stained glass windows. And tiny wires strung across the vaulted ceilings that you can barely see.”
The BGM crew worked closely with KSPS Producer/Director Bill Fitzner. Says pilot/spotter Frank Bayman, “Bill had a list of shots he needed for his story, but it also was a great collaboration. We were all coming up with ideas for shots, just responding to the amazing place and the visual potential.”
Watch the beautiful Northwest Profiles feature produced by Bill Fitzner of KSPS: