About Jennifer Pidgen

As COO and majority owner of of Sundance Media Group (SMG), Jennifer is dedicated to developing sUAS/UAV training programs, overall logistics, and operations for SMG. Co-author of several UAS books, Jennifer guides agencies and organizations with sUAS program implementation. With nearly 25 years of marketing experience within the consumer electronics and photo/ video channels, Jennifer channels her expertise into cultivating mutually-beneficial partnerships and building a successful and safe sUAS/UAV community.

Coming FREE Webinars – August 2020

If you have some time to join us, be sure to check out two of our free webinars in the coming weeks.

Starting a Drone Program 101

A 60min LIVE webinar showcasing what you need to consider when starting your drone program. This is an intro to drone best practices.

This workshop will help new remote pilots to understand the bigger picture process of incorporating drones into your workflow.

What steps do you need to consider when setting up a new drone program? This session we will cover how to effectively accomplish this goal.

  • Understanding FAA regulations for Commercial remote pilots
  • How to train for the job before you begin advertising your new skills
  • Insurance & Operational considerations
  • Define your objectives
  • Additional Equipment Considerations
  • Other Best Practices


Image Editing 201 for Drone (Aerial) Photography

A 60 min LIVE webinar showcasing best-practices for basic post-production editing on aerial (drone) images.

This workshop is the next series of our Image Editing for Drone (Aerial) Photography. We will dig deeper into the post-production side of the process for remote pilots looking to understand best practices for post-production on aerial images. We will focus on the basics in a couple of photo editing software platforms and learn about chroma vs. luma

Attendees can expect to learn via lived edits in this webinar, in both Photoshop and Lumiar software editing programs.

Elevate your aerial still photography skills for better images.

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone interested in creating interesting drone photography.
  • Anyone interested in improving their images taken from their drones.
  • Anyone interested in improving their drone photography workflow.



Hosted with our partner

HTS Ag is an innovative company on the leading edge of agricultural technology that has grown to be one of Ag Leader’s Premier Blue Delta Dealers.

In addition to Ag Leader, we offer technology solutions from OPI Systems, Autel, DJI, DroneDeploy, 360 Yield Center and more. Since 1995 we’ve been serving customers in Iowa and surrounding states with locations in western and eastern Iowa.

By | August 4th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Luminar 4 Review (Guest Blog)

This guest blog from   is a review of Luminar 4 showcasing how Skylum’s latest version has improved upon editing RAW images.

In the photo editing world, Photoshop and Lightroom are widely viewed as the industry standards for a long time. But these years new challengers are joining the game hoping to compete in a market that Adobe used to dominate. One of them is Skylum Luminar, a great RAW editor that offers a one-time payment at an affordable price so that photographers can avoid the subscription lock-in found in Adobe and many other popular image editing programs. SoftwareHow reviewed both the old version of Luminar (e.g. Luminar 3) and the newest version (e.g. Luminar 4), let’s see how many improvements they have made to the program and what interesting features the new version has to offer. Read more in this detailed review to find out: https://www.softwarehow.com/luminar-review/






By | June 29th, 2020|Photography, Post-Production|Comments Off on Luminar 4 Review (Guest Blog)

Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

Agreement Provides Certified Drone Training to Government Agencies and Organizations Across the U.S.

Las Vegas June 3, 2020 Sundance Media Group (SMG) today announced an agreement with  SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE: SNX), a leadingbusiness process services company, to provide certified drone training to government agencies and organizations across the U.S.

SMG specializes in assisting police, fire and private corporations seeking to stand up new small Unmanned Aircraft System drone programs or add sUAS workflows into their existing drone programs. SMG offers drone training programs across the U.S. as well as the filing of Certificates of Authorization and/or waivers with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. SMG also creates and assists in the implementation of Policy, Procedures and Operations manuals for ISO-compliant municipalities and organizations.

“Training is a vital component to a viable, safe and effective drone program. This agreement with Sundance Media Group enables us to offer a B2B turnkey solution within the unmanned aircraft industry,” said Ed Somers, Vice President, Public Sector and Vertical Markets, SYNNEX. “The addition of SMG safety-first training methodology services to our own product offerings elevates our complete technology solutions.”

SMG has a 19-year history working in aviation and crime scene investigation and has developed training missions for Major Incident Response Teams, CSI, traffic homicide, night-time forensic missions, and crowd overwatch with and without tethering components.  Drones offer an aerial vantage point and are a significant force multiplier. Operations may be initiated faster with fewer persons involved. As a force multiplier, nothing compares to sUAS with regard to cost, safety, speed and capturing/recording /archiving information that may be passed up or down the chain of command.

SMG’s training, now available through SYNNEX, include 107 offerings from prep, introduction to practical flight and advanced applied to vertical-focused flight training and post-processing training.

“We look forward to bringing our standard of excellence for various segments within the UA industry to SYNNEX and its customers,” said Jennifer Pidgen, Chief Operating Officer of Sundance Media Group, now celebrating 26 years in training. “SYNNEX focuses on helping their business partners grow and the SMG culture is to ensure that every client gets white-glove services. We identify the clients’ specific sUAS needsand we build out our training programs to meet those needs to ensure they are successful in their adaptation of this new technology.”




About Sundance Media Group

Founded in 1994, Sundance Media Group (SMG) began as a training organization focused on cameras, codecs, and post-production technology. In 2004, the company began training in aviation technology, adding sUAS in 2011. In 2012, SMG produced the world’s first UAS training conference at the NAB/P|PW Conference and is vendor neutral, where we collaborate with manufacturers, service providers, and software developer to find the best solution for our clients’ needs.

With instructors from Public Safety, Construction, Vertical Inspection, Real Estate, and Cinematography, SMG instructors may be found speaking at technical, aviation, and UAS conferences around the globe. For more information on SMG, please visit www.sundancemediagroup.com or via email at requests@sundancemediagroup.com

About SYNNEX Corporation

SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE: SNX) is a Fortune 200 corporation and a leading business process services company, providing a comprehensive range of distribution, logistics and integration services for the technology industry and providing outsourced services focused on customer engagement to a broad range of enterprises.  SYNNEX distributes a broad range of information technology systems and products, and also provides systems design and integration solutions. Founded in 1980, SYNNEX Corporation operates in numerous countries throughout North and South America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Additional information about SYNNEX may be found online at synnex.com.

SYNNEX, the SYNNEX Logo, and all other SYNNEX company, product and services names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of SYNNEX Corporation. SYNNEX, the SYNNEX Logo, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Other names and marks are the property of their respective owners.

By | June 3rd, 2020|Drone, Drone Safety, Inspection, Law Enforcement, Mapping, Night Flight, Public Safety, sUAS, sUAS, sUAS Safety, Technology, Training, UAV, UAV Maintenance|Comments Off on Sundance Media Group Announces Drone Training Reseller Agreement with SYNNEX Corporation

Women and Drones – 2020 Women to Watch Awards

NOMINATIONS are still open for this year’s annual Women and Drones awards for the Women to Watch.  YOU STILL HAVE TIME!

DEADLINE:  June 25, 2020


Need some direction on who to nominate?  Check out last year’s video showcasing the 2019 Women To Watch In UAS Honorees.  What an amazing selection of women within the industry!

These awards honoring outstanding achievements, by women, in the drone industry.  If you know of a woman run business, or cutting edge trail-blazer within the UAS industry, be sure to submit your nomination for the 2020 Women And Drones Global Awards.  This year there are INDIVIDUAL categories as well as TEAM categories.

The individual award is designed to acknowledge and inspire women who are driving change and shaping the drone industry.  Categories include:

  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership
  • Public Safety

In creating this recognition, we aim to raise the profile of women doing amazing work in UAS, UAM and UTM technology arenas.

The two team awards acknowledge organizations that in their pursuit of excellence embrace diversity and have a culture of inclusiveness where women are engaged in key or leadership roles within their team.

Sundance Media Group is a proud Strategic Partner of Women and Drones and a Women Owned Small Business.

About Women And Drones

Women and Drones is the leading membership organization dedicated to driving excellence in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry by achieving equity and participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors.

Core mission: To increase female participation in the economic opportunities of the industry.

Membership with Women and Drones offers many perks:

  • Group insurance for Drones and for your Pets
  • Building your brand
  • Training and Education
  • Discounts on Products

Membership also includes resources to improve your career and business:

  • Networking Opportunities
  • Jobs Board / Resume Review
  • Small Business Support
  • Members Only Facebook Page to share ideas, pictures, self-promotions, and ask questions


By | May 31st, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Women and Drones – 2020 Women to Watch Awards

Protected: Image Formats for Mapping

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

By | May 14th, 2020|Construction, Drone, Inspection, Mapping, Real Estate, sUAS, sUAS, Training, UAV|Comments Off on Protected: Image Formats for Mapping

Sundance Media Group Podcasts, Webinars, and more!

It has been a few weeks of lock-down now and we hope that all our readers are doing well during these uncertain times.  If you haven’t seen our post with links to assist small businesses, resources for laid-off workers and key ways we all can save and use our downtime, check it out here.

Our team has been busy re-focusing our training time on creating content for our clients and keeping conversations going on the importance of training as we prepare for the shutdown(s) to open up.

Next week (May 21), we’re offering a WEBINAR on Urban Turbulence and Micro-Climates – there’s still time to register!


NEW Products


The new Mach 4 (TM) from AEE is now shipping.  This heavy-hauler sUAS is positioned for commercial use.  Its durable construction and ease of use is geared for the Professional Drone Pilot looking to do inspections and use within public safety applications.  Check out AEE’s two newly released videos showcasing inspections and within public safety uses.

We’ve had an opportunity to share our first thoughts on the Autel EVO II overall and our Youtube video showcasing the unboxing of the EVO II PRO.   We have even shared first impressions on the new Autel EVO II Mission Planner software.

AND….stay tuned (sign up for our eNewsletter and/or subscribe to our Youtube channel!) to hear more about our recently received our EVO II 8K and EVO II Thermal.

In the mean time, be sure to check out the video from Autel showcasing the commercial use cases for this new unmanned system.  Soon there will be oodles more information on commercial applications with this Unmanned Aircraft, designed with Commercial and Enterprise users in mind.

   Autel Evo™ II Dual is ideal for:

  • Public Safety – Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Fire
  • Inspection – Solar, tower, bridge, insurance
  • General purpose uses in dark environments (thermal) or 8K cinematography, disaster relief/recovery

   Autel Evo™ II Pro is ideal for:

  • Public Safety – Crash scene reconstruction, forensics, image capture of events/scenes, overwatch, night flight
  • Mapping – Construction, surveying, inspection
  • General uses – Real estate, volumetrics, city planning, drainage studies, utilties, disaster relief/ recovery, roofing inspections, and many more applications

   Autel Evo™ II is ideal for:

  • Cinematography, Real Estate, sporting events, documentation, personal use, and any other application
    benefitting from an aerial camera system.

Recent Blogs of Interest

Drones for Construction

In case you missed it, Douglas & Brady created an article for Commercial UAV News showcasing three different drones, their functionality, and output on a construction site.  Check it out!



8K or not 8K

There has also been some debate in the UA forums about the relevance of 8K video capture from drones.  Check out Douglas’ article discussing the benefits of 8K video and “Going Beyond the Human Eye”.

These higher resolutions are applicable to “computer vision,” benefiting mapping, 3D modeling, and other similar applications. Generally speaking, more pixels equals greater smoothness and geometry. As technology moves deeper into Artificial Intelligence, higher resolutions with more efficient codecs become yet even more important. Imagine an UAS equipped with an 8K camera inspecting a communications tower.


From our Partners:

NOMINATIONS are open for this year’s annual Women and Drones awards for the Women to Watch.


These awards honoring outstanding achievements, by women, in the drone industry.  If you know of a woman run business, or cutting edge trail-blazer within the UAS industry, be sure to submit your nomination for the 2020 Women And Drones Global Awards.  This year there are INDIVIDUAL categories as well as TEAM categories.

The individual award is designed to acknowledge and inspire women who are driving change and shaping the drone industry.  Categories include:

  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership
  • Public Safety

In creating this recognition, we aim to raise the profile of women doing amazing work in UAS, UAM and UTM technology arenas.

The two team awards acknowledge organizations that in their pursuit of excellence embrace diversity and have a culture of inclusiveness where women are engaged in key or leadership roles within their team.


If you missed the announcement from our friends at InterDrone, InterDrone 2020 will  now be held in Dallas, Texas December 15 – 17, 2020.  Our team will be there offering our Night UAV Flight Workshop – be sure to register early and save!


Thanks for reading – be sure to sign up for our eNewsletter and/or subscribe to our Youtube channel to keep  in touch with all the Sundance Media Group activities.  You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well!

By | May 12th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sundance Media Group Podcasts, Webinars, and more!

Selecting the Right Drone for Your Construction Business

Douglas Spotted Eagle and Brady Reisch headed into the field to collect aerial construction data over fourteen weeks with three different drones.  Their goal was to determine which drone was best for the construction job site.

They used three popular aircraft for the comparisons and the results were pretty surprising.    Read all about it in their published article with Commercial UAV NEWS.

Drones Compared:



With thanks to Autel, Hoodman, DTResearch, and Pix4D.

By | April 27th, 2020|Construction, Drone Safety, Inspection, Real Estate, sUAS|Comments Off on Selecting the Right Drone for Your Construction Business

We Are In This Together And We Are Here For You.

During this time of surreal and trying circumstances, Sundance Media Group stands ready to support our clients, friends, and agencies who have utilized our services, or are considering our services.

We have suspended all in-person training until April 17, and will re-evaluate our stance at as that date approaches.

Per Federal recommendations, we urge anyone not directly involved in First Responder services to stand down and maintain the recommended social distancing, isolation, and hygienic practices as put forth by the CDC and National Institute of Health.

We have collected various sites that may be of benefit to owners of small businesses.  Below you will find updated information, tips and advice to help walk through this current and unprecedented global COVID19 pandemic.

The record of unemployment is the highest it’s been since World War II.  Our friends from MoneyGeek have summarized a few tools to help those in need as we walk through the “new-norm”.

Resources for Laid-Off Workers
Coronavirus Unemployment in Each US State and Local Community Resources
How to Refinance your Mortgage
How to Find the Best Car Insurance to Lower Your Monthly Bills
How to Pay for Coronavirus Healthcare

Read more about their forecasts on their website here.

This doesn’t mean that UAS pilots, program managers, and organizations need to be entirely grounded.

These coming days are an opportunity to catch up on what’s happening in the regulatory side of our industry, and we have a few specific recommendations that will benefit aircraft and programs around the globe.

We also urge our friends to read the CompTIA standards guide.

This is a good time to open up the UA cases and sort through cables, accessories, and supporting products. It’s a great time to review pre-flight checklists and Policy/Procedures/Operations manuals to determine if your practices are relevant, safe and efficient, and current.

We also recommend any or all of these actions:

  • Clean the hull/fuselage of any dirt, mud, sand, grass stains by wiping down with a microfiber cloth dampened with water or plastic-safe cleaning solution
  • Checking screws, connectors, or fittings on any landing gear for tightness, cracks, or other landing damage
  • Checking gimbal for smooth motion while powered down, cleaned of dust or foreign matter such as grass, weeds, or other FOD
  • Inspecting props for nicks, heat damage, storage damage (particularly check spare propellers that haven’t been used yet/in a long while
  • Draw/discharge batteries down to storage level per manufacturer recommendations
  • Vacuum out the storage container to clear dust, foam grains, and other debris that may find its way into your motors or gimbal
  • Ensure all hull/fuselage areas are free of cracks, screws tight, sealed
  • Ensure motors are free of debris, dust, or other foreign matter
  • Some UA require lubrication for the motors, most do not. Use internet resources to determine if your UA requires lubrication for motors, and apply as recommended by manufacturer.
  • Update software for UA, gimbal, batteries, and ground station controller to latest firmwares/softwares. This is an FAA mandate per AC107-2
  • Clean camera sensors (if you have removable lenses)
  • Clean camera lenses, filters, etc. Determine if you’ve been carrying/storing filters in the best manner to avoid scratches and dirt
  • Check remote sticks for calibration/properly zeroed out
  • Clean switches, joysticks, etc with plastic-safe cleaning solution
  • Wipe down any screens on ground station control
  • Clean any connections on ground station control
  • Check ground station control for dirt, mud, grass stains or debris
  • Sanitize ground station control with plastic-safe sanitizer
  • Log any maintenance in your UA maintenance logbook (per AC107-
  • Update any personal logbooks
  • Read a training guide and apply for a 107.29 waiver
  • Read our book on UA for Real Estate
  • View online training to keep up on what others are doing, and learn from the best practices of others.
  • Learn a new software application such as Pix4DMapper or Pix4Dreact
  • Email SMG about our online training or SOP review services.

Thank you to all our supporting partners!


By | March 20th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We Are In This Together And We Are Here For You.





Mike Kahn

Mike Kahn mkahn@aee.com


RELEASE DATE:  10.24.2019



 Transformative lighting for unmanned aircraft now available


 Dateline: [Las Vegas NV 10.25.2019] — Powered by FoxFury, AEE announces a 4-degree spotlight created for the AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft, providing users with a lighting system similar to helicopter-mounted spotlighting systems.

“This new lighting system powered by FoxFury is far beyond anything currently available in the unmanned industry,” said

Mike Kahn, CMO-AEE. “We are excited at the power, battery life, and the unmatched intensity of this new focused spotlight system.”

The 5000 lumen, 790 gram light is built from 6061-T6 aluminum with an IPX7 rating, and offers three intensities and a strobe function. The AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft is capable of approximately 30 minute flight with the spotlight powered by the airframe power supply due to high power efficiency.

“Our intent is to re-create the experience of a helicopter-mounted spotlight while taking into consideration the payload and power capability of an sUAS system” said Mario Cugini of FoxFury. “AEE is the first sUAS system to deploy this platform-agnostic spotlight product designed for virtually any midsized sUAS.”

The AEE Mach™ 4 sUAS system is manufactured for Public Safety, EMS, and inspection purposes, priced at $6499 with a standard 4K camera and $7499.00 with a 10X optical zoom camera. The Spotlight system is $799.00. The AEE Mach™ 4 is a point-to-point secure system with a military-grade ground station control, offering long flight time and/or heavy payload capability with retractable landing gear and

Douglas Spotted Eagle (Sundance Media Group) Director of Education says “Currently there is no product from any manufacturer which offers the intensity, battery life, and viability of in-air scene lighting for public safety, night inspection, or security purposes. We have had opportunity to beta-test this system and are exceptionally impressed with the Mach™ 4 platform carrying the FoxFury Spotlight. The focus, distance/intensity, ultra-efficient battery consumption, and heat dissipation goes well beyond anything we’ve seen in the unmanned industry.”

The AEE platform and FoxFury lighting system may be seen in action at CommUAV Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 29/30, and during the Night Flight programming from Sundance Media Group in the same week.


About AEE

AEE Aviation Technology Ltd., has been a leader in developing and manufacturing professional, advanced and reliable recording equipment since 1999. This includes UAV drone systems, action cameras such as the MagicCam and police recording equipment. A pioneer in combining wireless audio and video transmission as well as image and processing and intelligent control technologies, AEE products are proudly distributed worldwide in more than 55 countries and regions across major retail chain outlets. AEE Aviation Technology, Ltd., is based in Shenzhen, China with offices in Munich, Germany and Walnut, California, USA.


About FoxFury

Since 2003, FoxFury leads the world in cutting edge LED lighting solutions for enterprise use. The FoxFury Xtremium™ products focus on durability and speed, providing unique solutions and possibilities for first responders, unmanned pilots, enterprise professionals, and videographers in over 65 countries, distributed through the world’s largest distribution centers. FoxFury is a proud US company, with offices in Oceanside, CA.


By | October 25th, 2019|Counter UAS, Drone, Drone Safety, Inspection, Law Enforcement, Night Flight, Public Safety, Real Estate, Regulations, Security, sUAS, sUAS Regulation, sUAS Safety, UAV, UAV Maintenance|Comments Off on HIGH-INTENSITY SPOTLIGHT FOR AEE MACH™ 4 sUAS

Sundance Media Group’s newest educational tool – Podcasts!

Every year, Sundance Media Group sits with it’s employees and takes a moment to debrief the past year.  What’s worked, what challenges we’ve faced, and what we’d like to see implemented in the days/months/years to come.  Given the amazing team we have, it should be no surprise that the team wanted to find even more ways available to them to share our expertise with the public.    Thus was born the idea of an SMG Podcast.

I am grateful to Brady and Douglas for taking the reins on this new endeavour, their excitement to breathe life into the concept and put their experiences with Podcasting to work is motivating!

First we had to decide on a venue for hosting Podcasts.  As a team, we agreed that to take our extra office space and set it up as our Podcast studio; ready to roll at a drop of a hat. 

After a hectic first two quarters of tradeshows, travelling, and training, the Las Vegas team came together for our introduction Podcast, but we officially launched this new channel on May 21st and we haven’t looked back.

So why do YOU care?  Well, we’re a different type of Podcast, we’re affectionately calling them “Podbites” or “Pod-snacks”as we aim to keep our content short, sweet, and to the point.  We know just how busy you are in the field and our goal is to share bits of information with our audience in segments of 5-10 minutes and for subjects that may take more time, we’ll break it into multiple sections so that it is easier to digest.

Drop by our Youtube channel and subscribe to keep current with us, or find our playlist and simple let it run through the episodes available.  We have a lot of great content on Youtube available including product reviews, tips and tricks, and our LIVE From playlist where you might have a snippet from us in the field, in the office, or at a tradeshow showcasing something new from the industry.  Be sure to check them all out and welcome to more insights from the SMG team.

Of course, we expect to hear from you too!  Drop us a note and let us know if you have any topics that you would like us to zero in on for future Podcasts.


By | July 2nd, 2019|Audio, Post-Production, Production, sUAS, Technology, Training, Video|Comments Off on Sundance Media Group’s newest educational tool – Podcasts!