The art of film is essentially about telling a story in the most evocative way possible. Now, a New York filmmaker is challenging UAV cinematographers to tell a story from a bird’s eye view.
Randy Scott Slavin, a film director, aerial cinematographer and photographer, recently announced the launch of the “world’s first event exclusively celebrating drone cinematography,” the New York City Drone Film Festival (NYCDFF).
The Festival is seeking “submissions for short films shot primarily with, or featuring majority of footage from, drones or unmanned aerial vehicles” which can be no longer than five minutes and must be submitted by Nov. 30. Categories will include “Most beautiful aerial cinematography, “Most technically difficult shot,” “Most epic #Dronie,” and “Best crash footage.”
The crash category may raise a few eyebrows among Big Apple officials given the spate of recent drone controversy around the city beginning with a non-award-winning crash of a drone in Manhattan in 2013.
In July, New York police arrested two men for allegedly flying a drone too close to a bridge — although the pilots claim that the police tried to deliberately crash their UAV.
As the popularity of drones in New York City grows as quickly as a traffic jam in Times Square, the incident is another example of how law-enforcement officials are increasingly targeting amateur and commercial drone users.
In the past year, New York and federal officials have cracked down on UAVs with an iron fist, including increased FAA enforcement against Realtor-driven drones and congressional scrutiny from officials such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer. The senator called on federal officials to speed up drone regulation. As earlier reported in DRONELIFE, Schumer claims that “drones pose a threat to safety and privacy. They have interfered with airspace, been used to spy on people and been used to deliver drugs.”
As for Slavin, the director wants to take the politics out of the flight process and focus on the art of the aerial. “I’m tired of drones being synonymous with questionable legality and FAA regulation,” Slavin stated on the NYCDFF site. “I want to celebrate the art of aerial cinematography.”
In a recent report at fstoppers.com, Slavin said:
“The most exciting thing about drones-the reason I got into shooting with them-is because as a director, there’s nothing more exciting than camera movement…it’s like, ‘Holy shit. I can put this camera anywhere I want in 3-D space as long as I can fly it there. That’s amazing.’”
As drone use proliferation grows in the arts (as earlier reported in DRONELIFE), experts predict that the film industry may be the primary beneficiary of innovative aerial technology.
And Slavin agrees that the sky is the limit when it comes to drones and film.
“I’ve seen some amazing things, and I want to see more. I want to see inventive ways of telling stories.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.