How Shetland Flyer Aerial Media Is Using Filemail

Aerial Media Production Case Study

Aerial shot


In this case study, we talked to Rory Gillies, CEO of Shetland Flyer Aerial Media. They are an aerial media production company based in the Shetland Islands, which are a small group of islands to the north of Scotland.

They have over 40 years of experience in remote piloted aircraft systems, with a crew of pilots, camera operators, professional videographers, photographers, and surveyors. They provide services such as:

  • Photography
  • Mapping
  • Surveying
  • Geomatics
  • Photogrammetry processing
  • Videography

The Challenges

The challenges faced by Shetland Flyer Aerial Media (SFAM) were issues that would also hamper how they interacted with their clients, and thus the client’s experience when working with them. Being in a service-orientated business, clients needed to be able to work with Rory and his crew as efficiently and as easily as possible. 

Issues faced by SFAM that impacted their clients, due to using FTP:

  1. Some clients found it hard to use. FTP can seem daunting for clients who are not very computer-savvy.
  2. Slow transfer speeds. Their current FTP-based solution was very slow. When sending a large number of files, transfer speed would plummet. 
  3. FTP lacked branding capabilities, so it didn’t permit SFAM to present a professional brand-consistent front.
  4. FTP had security issues.
  5. Clients need to be able to see the deliverables, such as images and videos, before downloading them. FTP-based solutions didn’t present thumbnails of the media SFAM had produced for the client.

The Goals

The aforementioned challenges had to be addressed to attain the following goals:

  1. A fast file transfer service – clients have schedules they need to stick to, so by extension service providers need to fit into the same schedule.
  2. An intuitive interface that clients find simple to use. 
  3. Able to accept a large array of file types.
  4. Provide thumbnail previews of videos and images, so clients can.
  5. Branding capabilities that foster a professional appearance.

Solution Evaluation Factors

The evaluation factors used by Rory to assess potential solutions were:

  1. Speed; clients have projects and contracts they must adhere to, so files must be shared as quickly as possible.
  2. An easy-to-use interface, clients haven’t got the time nor inclination to learn about the particulars of a solution.
  3. Thumbnail previews and for how many different image types.
  4. Maximum file size. Images taken by drones are high resolution 20 – 25 megapixels, which means the files are huge. Taking into account that videos are made from using these images as one frame in a video, can result in massive file sizes.
  5. Degree of customization provided by potential solutions. 
  6. Security and access control. Only the client should be able to access and download files.

The Solutions Tested

Rory tried the following solutions:

  1. WeTransfer
  2. DropBox
  3. Filemail

WeTransfer:  He tried WeTransfer. He didn’t like the ads and random images that WeTransfer shows. He preferred the pricing offered by Filemail.

DropBox: He used DropBox for file syncing, and for sharing files whose content is ever-green and not likely to change, ie agreement templates, processes, etc. DropBox doesn’t permit branding on the account and pricing range they were assessing solutions within.

Filemail: was selected as the solution to transfer files as it addressed the challenges to meet the goals. How he used it is mentioned in the next section.

How Rory Works With Filemail

Rory used Filemail in the following way:

  1. He changed the custom subdomain name offered by Filemail to his brand’s name.
  2. He used Filemails branding capabilities so he could present a professional appearance in keeping with his brand. This meant he could show his logo, his company colors on download pages, and automated emails sent by Filemail on his behalf.
  3. He used Filemail’s desktop app, which uses UDP transfer acceleration to attain transfer speeds not possible using TCP browser-based solutions.
  4. Filemail lets Rory send files of any size, and any format, so he had no issues in this regard.

How Shetland Flyer Aerial Media’s Clients Benefited

Rory’s clients received several advantages due to Rory using Filemail:

  1. A user interface that is as simple as sending and receiving email. Rory’s clients were able to use Filemail easily, so both Rory and his clients could get on with the fulfillment of their contract.
  2. Receiving files from Rory quickly. Filemail provides fast transfer rates due to having servers distributed globally, ensuring files are transferred as short a distance as possible.
  3. Receiving files from Rory in a secure manner. Filemail offers many components that facilitate data integrity, such as anti-virus checking, error checking, end-to-end encryption, password protection, and end-user access rights.
  4. Client’s ability to preview images and videos via thumbnail generation meant that clients can pick out the collateral they wanted without wasting time downloading them first.

Rory Gillies Testimonial

Filemail is awesome! Super convenient and very reliable. I have been sending tons of files and they always get there on time and with no pressure! I recommend them 100%!

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