Sonja Stark began her freelance DP career after 12 years employed as an award-winning news videographer for CBS-TV news in upstate New York. She worked for the CBS affiliate WRGB-TV from 1994-2005. In 2005, Stark was hired to produce/shoot a 3-hour documentary for the University of Pittsburgh. She boarded a ship called the MV Explorer and circumnavigated the globe with 700 students on a voyage called Semester at Sea. She shot over 80 hours of footage in 12 countries: Bahamas, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, and Japan. Stark began to fly solo shortly thereafter under the name, PilotGirl Productions.
Stark produces, shoots, lights, runs audio and edits every day. Her footage has been used to tell stories for documentary, commercial, promotional video and news purposes. Her arsenal of equipment includes ownership of several HD, 2K and 4K cameras: SONY FS7 with extender unit, DJI Phantom 4, several GoPro 7 cameras and the 360 KeyMission Nikon camera. She provides several parfocal and prime lens options including portable lighting and studio lighting as well as green screens, a Dana Dolly, a Losmandy Jib, 4K monitor, teleprompter, makeup and more.
PilotGirl Productions was granted status as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) by New York State several years ago. Her certifications include NAICS-51211: Video Productions, NAICS-512191: Video Post-Production Services, NIGP-90505: Aerial Photography and NIGP-91582: Video Production. She also maintains membership in 2 broadcast unions (NABET & IBEW) and shoots ENG on a regular basis for CBS National News. In 2017, she earned her FCC Part 107 sUAS (drone) Certification and shoots aerial footage throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Sonja Stark graduated from University at State of New York in Plattsburgh, NY in 1993. At WRGB, she earned 7 New York State Emmy nominations and 3 wins, 2 New York State Broadcaster awards, numerous AP awards and 1 Edward R. Murrow award. Her IMDB camera credits include episodic programming with PBS, Food Network, Nat Geo, Discovery and Food Network along with cinematography direction on several documentaries like “To Be Me” (currently in production), “Tennis Fantasies” (2014), “An Affair of the Heart,” (2012), “The Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale,” (2009), and “Full Signal,” (2012). The best part is that she has production experience in over 72 countries. She’s also PADI-certified for SCUBA cinematography up to 100 feet under.
“Should your project need a shooter to dive the Great Barrier Reef, hike the fjords of Greenland or maybe drone the Vancouver skyline, I can provide amazing footage at competitive rates with dedication and enthusiasm. Thank you for your interest in PilotGirl. Together we can take your project to new heights!”