Our Drone Future

Our Drone Future was created to explore the darker side of the word “drone”, and was conceived as the complementary half to the Gofor Project, which explored the potential and helpful aspects of what the word conjures.

  • Writer/Director/GFX:  Alex Cornell
  • Shot with:  GoPro + Phantom I
  • Location:  San Francisco

As portrayed in this film, cities use semi-autonomous drones, specializing in predictive analysis, for urban security. Human officers monitor the drone feeds remotely, and data reports are displayed with a detailed HUD and communicated via a simulated human voice. This portion shows a landmark security drone surveying San Francisco landmarks and encountering fierce civilian resistance.

The film was shot using a DJI Phantom I and a GoPro 3. 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.