Eagle Meets Drone: A Short-Film is born!

LA Media was excited to be invited to be part of THINK ON’s latest collaboration project using drones to film a stunning Golden eagle named Diesel. The final project looks amazing and we are proud to have been a part of this collaboration.

The purpose of this short-film was to capture ‘why’ the eagle handler (Steven Mallice) loves flying Diesel, a handsome and majestic-looking eight-month-old male Golden Eagle. Words just can’t describe how amazing Diesel looks up close and in person.

A large element of the film was to show Steven’s relationship with Diesel and have him demonstrate how he built their unique bond from Diesel’s birth.

Using our DJI Inspire 1 drone, mounted with an X5R camera, we got some amazing footage of this magnificent eagle in motion! The Inspire 1 was the perfect drone option for this shoot as it is a nimble and swift machine that produces high-quality footage. Capturing high-quality 4 k aerial footage has never been easier.

falconer with golden eagle

Image by LA Media ‘Steven holding Diesel’ 

What could possibly go wrong?

But I guess you are wondering, just like we did,  how would Diesel react to the drone? We took it in baby-steps to make sure nobody, especially the eagle, was injured.

We were worried that maybe Diesel would be unsettled by the noise of the drone propellers when in flight. We were also concerned that Diesel might very well think the drone was prey…and attack the drone.

Diesel may have also attacked had he perceived it as a threat. We also wanted to be sure that the eagle didn’t collide with the drone as the eagle’s flight path could be unpredictable.

DJI Inspire 1 Drone

Image by THINK ON Collaborations LA Media‘s Drone’ 

What did we do?

We decided to first introduce two at a safe distance (the drone and eagle we mean), while Diesel was tethered on his handler’s arm.

Step by slow step we gradually brought the two closer together. Eventually, we were able to operate the drone while the eagle was still on its tether.  We tested his reaction to the drone taking off and slowly flew around his position.

We are happy to say he was a total pro and wasn’t bothered by the buzzing of the drone. When Steven, Diesel’s handler, was convinced that the eagle was comfortable with the drone and its noise while in flight we were both finally ready to take to the air!

Golden and handler

Image by LA Media ‘Steven and the Eagle’ 

What we’d like to share

Here are a few pictures we captured while filming. Stay tuned to see the full video and you can let us know what you think.

This production was truly a team effort and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved and especially a big thanks to Diesel the eagle who was a consummate professional.

Golden Eagle staring into the camera: video production

Image by THINK ON Collaborations 


Diesel is probably the only star who can get away with looking directly into the camera, apart from maybe Kevin Spacey (think Frank Underwood).

The Team

Eagle Handler/ Subject: Steven Mallice

Producer/Director/Photographer: Carrick McLelland

DP: Danny Bonnar

Drone: LA Media

Gimbal Operator: Alistair Girvan

Location: Cambusbarron Quarry near Stirling


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Visit our website lamedia.co.uk and if you have any questions, e-mail us at louise@lamedia.co.uk or give us a call on 0131 622 0220