December 15, 2023

Jimmy Dempsey’s Graduate Story: From Dreams to Drones


Embarking on a journey that would have him working with HBO, ABC, Peacock, and so much more, Jimmy Dempsey, a graduate of F.I.R.S.T. Institute, has transformed his passion for cinematography into a thriving career with Glide Aerials, one of the leading drone companies in the industry.

Finding Serenity in the Skies

“Flying for us is almost like meditation for that little bit of time. Nothing else really matters. I’m on my joystick, I’m on my consoles, and I’m just lost in the image,” Jimmy shares, reflecting on the joy and tranquility he finds amid his aerial pursuits. For Jimmy, every day is an adventure, a chance to capture the world’s beauty from above and turn it into breathtaking content.

From Humble Beginnings to Global Heights

In 2015, Jimmy co-founded Glide Aerials, initially focusing on drones. Over time, the company evolved into a powerhouse, expanding its services to include cable cameras, rail cams, eagle eye systems, gyros, cars, and more. If it could move and have a camera mounted, it would be a part of Glide Aerials’ arsenal. The thrill of filming captivating content has taken Jimmy to places he once only dream of—Germany, Russia, Fiji, Peru, Panama, and beyond.

“There is nothing else I would rather do,” Jimmy exclaims, highlighting the sheer joy he experiences while traversing the globe, turning each project into a masterpiece.

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Lights, Camera, Glide!

Glide Aerials boasts an impressive portfolio, collaborating on various projects ranging from music festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival to TV shows like “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” and “Selling Sunset.” Jimmy vividly recalls one of the most epic shoots, a real-life video game scenario set in an old abandoned chemical plant, with drones buzzing around as cars navigated through a maze—a testament to the limitless possibilities of his chosen profession.

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F.I.R.S.T. Institute: The Launchpad for Success

Jimmy attributes much of his success to the education and tools he gained at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. He emphasizes the personalized attention he received from instructors, allowing him to delve deep into the nuances of editing, lighting, and camera positioning. Unlike other institutions, F.I.R.S.T. accommodated his need to work while learning, offering flexibility that was crucial for his growth.

“First Institute gave me the tools and the education that I needed to be able to break into the industry and to be able to achieve what I needed to achieve,”* Jimmy says, underscoring the pivotal role his education played in shaping his career.

Passion, Effort, and Breaking into the Film Industry

For aspiring filmmakers, Jimmy offers words of wisdom. He emphasizes the need for unwavering passion and dedication, asserting that success in the film industry demands relentless effort and hard work. F.I.R.S.T. Institute, according to Jimmy, not only provided the necessary skills but also a practical approach to the industry, understanding that passion is the driving force behind any remarkable achievement.

“If you’re trying to break into the film industry and you’re not passionate about it and not willing to put the actual effort into it, don’t even try,”

Jimmy advises, acknowledging the challenges but affirming that the rewards are well worth the journey.

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A Grateful Heart and Soaring Ambitions

As Jimmy reflects on his journey, he acknowledges the surreal nature of his daily adventures, confessing that he sometimes forgets to appreciate the magnitude of what he’s achieved. “If you would have asked me five years ago, like ten years ago, what are you doing? I’m like, I hope I get to do something epic. But now, every day, it’s something epic, and I don’t even appreciate as much as I should,” he shares, encapsulating the essence of a career that has transcended dreams.

Jimmy Dempsey’s story is not just about drones and cameras—it’s a testament to the power of passion, education, and unwavering commitment. His journey from F.I.R.S.T. Institute graduate to co-founder of Glide Aerials is an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers and creatives, proving that with the right tools and determination, the sky is not the limit but the beginning of a boundless adventure. If your looking to take your career to new heights, we invite you to your tour Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program and see first hand how F.I.R.S.T. can help you launch your career.