Did you see the viral drone video that we posted onto our Facebook group last week?
It was created by Jay Christensen. It was uploaded to his YouTube channel and quickly racked up more than a million views. The footage has now been circulated by various news outlets around the world… a great bit of promotion for the game!
Right up our alley
The single sequence footage has been praised for it’s incredible camera work. The drone swoops into Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis from across the street. What follows is a marvel in timing as the drone glides around the vintage bowling alley and reveals an incredible venue in all it’s glory.
Hollywood have shown their appreciation for the incredible sequence. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn said the shot was “stupendous” and “incredible” and he wanted the creators to join the production crew on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 in London later this year. Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood was a little less eloquent as he retweeted the video with just a two-word comment: “HOLY SHIT.”
Was it really as hard as it looked?
We happen to know an expert drone pilot who has some bowling experience…
Luke Gale is a first-person view flying (FPV) drone pilot with many years of experience at providing professional drone services across the UK. He first got on to our radar when we saw his amazing video of Lane7 Leicester and we are now working together to offer drone services to other bowling centres.
We asked Luke for his take on the viral sensation.
How long have you been a drone pilot?
I have been a commercial drone operator for the last two and a half years operating under what’s known as a PfCO from the civil aviation authority. I specialise in FPV drone operations, flying small “cinewhoops” to capture indoor scenes (like bowling alleys), to racing drones chasing fast moving objects like motorbikes, to “cinelifters” which carry prograde cameras to capture cinemas grade film. I also operate a more traditional fleet of drones that the public would be more accustomed too and use these in conjunction with FPV drones.
What did you like about the viral bowling centre video?
The viral bowling centre video has really helped established FPV pilots like myself to show what can be done with a drone being flown in FPV. The close proximity style of the video is very much part and parcel of typical indoor FPV…what makes this video so special however is the speed at which it is done and how well choreographed the take was with the people in film (I’ve heard it took 12 attempts to get it perfect!)
Was it as hard as it looks?
Absolutely. FPV drone flight (whether inside or out) is typically done in what’s called ‘acro mode’, which basically means that the drone is completely manual with all autonomous features turned off. To operate FPV drones safely you really do need hours and hours (and more hours!) of experience and lots of practice in empty fields before even attempting to do close proximity flying or indoor flight. I have 2 years’ experience with FPV now and have chased MotoX bikes, Harley Davidsons, flown through skateparks, flown around Country House Gardens, cliff dived in Cornwall and even did my own bowling alley project. With 2 years’ experience, I would say I’m a very proficient and safe FPV pilot, but there is always room to learn and build on the very specific skill set that FPV work demands!
We loved the video that you did for Lane7 – How long did that take?
My own bowling alley video took around 2 hours to shoot in total. It was a last minute impromptu job that came out of nowhere so I quickly charged my batteries and dashed off to quickly seize the moment and I’m glad I did…bowling alleys, or venues of that nature, make very good subject matter and look super cool when finished (and are surreal to fly around in your FPV headset!)
What can bowling centres do with drone footage?
The perspective that FPV gives is very unique and quite a natural and “flowy way” of presenting virtual tours, easily captivating viewers. They are often used on social media platforms and because of the unique nature of the videos they tend to be very successful and wide spreading.