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, the University of Pittsburgh hired Sonja to shoot a 3-hour documentary. She boarded a ship called the MV Explorer and for 3 months circumnavigated the globe with 700 students on a voyage called Semester at Sea. She shot over 80 hours of footage in 12 countries including Venezuela, South Africa, Mauritius, Myanmar, India, Vietnam, China and Japan. She’s been flying solo ever since as PilotGirl Productions.
Sonja can shoot, light and run audio with the best of them. Her footage has been used to tell stories for documentary, commercial, promotional video and news purposes. She maintains membership in 2 broadcast unions (NABET & IBEW) and continues to shoot on a freelance basis for CBS National News. Just recently, she earned her FCC Part 107 sUAS (drone) Certification and has shot aerial video throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Her arsenal of equipment includes ownership of several cameras: SONY FS7, SONY EX3, DJI Phantom 4, GoPros and the new 360 KeyMission Nikon camera. She provides portable lighting and studio lighting (1×1 LED, Arri, Kino, Lowell and HMI) with different size green screens, C-stands, monitors and teleprompters. The best part of her business is that she can travel on a moment’s notice with production experience in over 72 countries. She’s also PADI-certified for recreational scuba diving up to 100 feet.
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 credits on full-length documentaries include the 2009 “The Lost Road of the Popes: Via Papale,” 2009 “Beyond the Epic Run,” 2010 “Full Signal,” 2012 “An Affair of the Heart,” and several short-format docs. She has episodic programming for Animal Planet, Food Network, National Geographic Channel and Discovery.
“Should your project need a shooter to dive the Great Barrier Reel, hike the fjords of Greenland or maybe drone the Vancouver skyline, I can provide amazing footage at competitive rates with dedication and enthusiasm.”