Several cameras captured Carson Wentz walking down Broadway in downtown Fargo for an ESPN video shoot, but only one filmed the NFL prospect from above.
The aerial view of the North Dakota State University standout quarterback was supplied for the network’s NFL draft coverage by an unmanned aircraft flown March 21 by Grand Forks company SkySkopes.
“Just doing it for ESPN, for one, is cool but to film someone who might go No. 1 overall in the NFL draft is even better,” SkySkopes President Matt Dunlevy told the Herald.
Footage of Wentz shot by the aircraft, also known as a drone, will be used in a segment slated to run during the draft’s opening night on April 28, and in promotional spots airing before the three-day TV event.
On Monday morning, SkySkopes employees accompanied the network’s crew to shoot video in downtown Fargo and in the Fargodome.
As part of the filming process, a portion of Broadway closed to car and foot traffic for about three hours. Between the street and Fargodome locations, Dunlevy estimates the aircraft — a DJI S1000 — was in the air 45 minutes to an hour taking video.
The video will be compiled into a profile of Wentz called a “hero shoot” by ESPN officials and will feature Fargo and other North Dakota locations.
The shoot wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for SkySkopes, said Dunlevy, adding the company has produced aerial video tours of the UND campus, Ralph Engelstad Arena and other Grand Forks fixtures.
“We were just filming a target, and Carson was the target of the shoot,” Dunlevy said. “It was standard aerial cinematography.”
That said, Dunlevy added the experience was a bit surreal, but joked that it wouldn’t go to the SkySkopes team’s heads. At the end of the day, he said the company is focused on securing more missions and performing them safely.
“It comes with a sense of purpose, that we’re out there and we’re doing things for Grand Forks, for Fargo and for the state of North Dakota,” Dunlevy said. “It’s really going to keep us and the state on the map.”