Our Drone Future
By @alexcornell // San Francisco // 12.12.13
Our Drone Future is a look at the imminent condition of unmanned aerial vehicles. The video explores the technology, capability, and purpose of drones, as their presence becomes an increasingly pervasive reality in the skies of tomorrow.
In the near future, cities use semi-autonomous drones for urban security. Human officers monitor drone feeds remotely, and data reports are displayed with a detailed HUD and communicated via a simulated human voice (designed to mitigate discomfort with sentient drone technology).
Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro.
At the time of shooting, personal drones weren’t regulated at all in the city; flying throughout downtown San Francisco was met with curious, but not yet disapproving eyes. Phantom technology wasn’t what it is now; countless mishaps and malfunctions delayed shooting, but surprisingly, a no-crash record was maintained.
The script was written well before the shoot, and the final edit was pieced together from the absurd amount of aerial footage captured. For the most risky shots over the bridge, stock footage was mixed in with the GoPro. The drone HUD was built in Photoshop and After Effects, and was modeled after the amazing work of Gmunk’s team on Oblivion.
Unlike the Gofor Project, Our Drone Future was released only on Youtube and Vimeo, with no accompanying minisite. Vimeo awarded it a Staff Pick and the film was covered by most major press outlets. NHK included the film, as well as an interview with the filmmaker, on their 2014 drone special.