In the Robot Skies: A drone Love Story
Directed by speculative architect Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan, In the Robot Skies is the world’s first narrative shot entirely through autonomous drones. In collaboration with the Embedded and Artificially intelligent Vision Lab in Belgium the film has evolved in the context of their experiments with specially developed camera drones each programmed with their own cinematic rules and behaviours.
The film explores the drone as a cultural object, not just as a new instrument of visual story telling but also as the catalyst for a new collection of urban sub cultures. In the way the New York subway car of the 80’s gave birth to a youth culture of wild style graffiti and hip hop the age of ubiquitous drones as smart city infrastructure will create a new network of surveillance activists and drone hackers. From the eyes of the drones we see two teenagers each held by police order within the digital confines of their own council estate tower block in London. A network of drones survey the council estates, as a roving flock off cctv cameras and our two characters are kept apart by this autonomous aerial infrastructure. We watch as they pass notes to each other via their own hacked and decorated drone, like kids in an old fashioned classroom, scribbling messages with biro on paper, balling it up and stowing it in their drones.. In this near future city drones form both agents of state surveillance but also become co-opted as the aerial vehicles through which two teens fall in love.
Premiered in IMAX at the London Film Festival on October 8th, with live music accompaniment from acclaimed electronic producer Forest Swords. Screening with Random Acts on Channel 4 Mid November 2016.
Directed by Liam Young
Written By Tim Maughan
Starring Maia Watkins and Moe Bar-el
Produced by Dani Admiss
Music by Forest Swords
Sound Design Aneek Thapar
Director of Photography Vini Curtis
Drone Costumes by Jennifer Chen
Human Costumes by Maharishi
Motion Graphics by Zhan Wang
Camera Drone pilot Liam Young
Tethered Character Drone Pilot Denis Stretton
Special Thanks Alexey Marfin
Drones supported by DJI
Commissioned by Channel 4 Random Acts and STUK, Belgium.