By Edie Moser
Matthew Stover has the enviable job of seeing the world from a lofty perspective. As the creative director of Ground Up Productions, he heads up the region’s “one stop shop for cinematography and photography across a variety of platforms.” Founded in 2013, Ground Up has served businesses both big and small by creating visual marketing content for real estate agents, wedding clients, TV shows, independent movies and promotional videos. The company recently created a powerful tourism video for the Delaware River Towns. GroundUp was also hired by Visit NJ.org, the official tourism website of the state of New Jersey. GroundUp partnered up with Visit NJ to capture aerial videos of some of New Jersey’s popular tourism sites to highlight the state’s most established attractions and landmarks throughout its entirety. With every video that he produces, Stover works diligently to tell each clients unique story in conjunction with appealing cinematic visuals that soar above the rest.
We caught up with Stover to find out more about the man behind the camera, and the visual magic that goes into creating video productions.
What is unique about your work?
My video production company films everything from the Ground Up. I produce films for a variety of clients, and everyone has their own individual business or personal story to tell. I take pride in staying up to date with the most recent camera technology. This allows me to best meet the needs of my clientele. It allows for more creativity and helps visually tell my client’s story in a captivating way. The aerial drones that I use allow for a unique filming perspective from above. I develop a relationship with my clients in pre-production and get to know them so I can convey the message that they desire.
Talk about the tech stuff that makes working in the drone industry exciting?
Drone photography and videography work requires experience, safety, insurance, permits, FAA commercial license and of course a great eye. The technology that I use has allowed me to add another angle to my line up for video and photography. Drone cameras have not only changed the video industry. I have piloted my drone for inspection photography for roof inspections, buildings and construction progress monitoring.
What is it like to have a bird’s eye view of the landscape you shoot?
Birds eye views have opened new doors for some very creative perspectives. While racing drones, my biggest thrill is the first -person view. You have the view of the drone through the FPV goggles and it gives you the feeling of flight.
How do you decide on which subjects you shoot?
I decide on visual subject matter by means of extensive pre-production planning. I develop a storyboard based on my client's marketing goals in conjunction with both of our visions for the project combined. Although the subject matter is well thought out, there are always on the spot surprises on the film set that will catch my creative eye. This ability is something that has come with time and experience.
How old were you when you first picked up a video camera?
My first video project was a VHS camera video project in 6th grade. I filmed a skit with my classmates at East Amwell Township School. It was my first experience directing and creating a small video skit for a homework assignment.
What drew you to this sort of work?
As a young student, being granted the opportunity to tell a story by means of video compared to the traditional written paper form of telling a story was fascinating to me. It allowed me to express my creativity and my own vision in a different light. It is something that I have carried with me ever since.
Stover’s talent shines in his television and movie work he has done as either a drone pilot, camera operator or Aerial Drone Technician. His professional portfolio includes work for Showtime, A&E, NBC and Netflix. You can view more of his work on his IMDB page.
The community is important to GroundUp Productions, can you talk about how you stay involved?
Every year we donate a creative print to our local Shad Festival poster auction. We love participating with regional artists in donating to fund scholarships for local students heading to college to study art. We have raised over $800.00 dollars over the past three years of participating.
This year we created a tourism video for the Delaware River Towns’ Chamber of Commerce. The captivating video my company created will be a powerful tool that will help the chamber market the area through advertising and thus gain everyone more business. This video also helped introduce Ground Up Productions to the rest of the business community.
Life can have its difficult moments. As a small business we understand this best and when times get tough for the community, we are available for support. We donated this print to a local cancer benefit dinner in support of a caring local. Our poster raised over $1000.00 dollars in the silent auction. We believe the community is what makes towns and cities all over unique and great. It is very important to our small business.
You can learn more: Ground Up Productions