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Flying a Drone Inside a Bowling Alley. See the Masterful FPV Video10.03.2021

Cutting through the venue at quite the speed, the small aircraft deftly skirts around patrons and pins, even sneaking behind the scenes of the bowling alley. 

Although off-the-shelf unmanned aircraft have been available for a dozen years now, the field is far from stagnant and manufacturers keep perfecting the technology. The popularity of hobby drone flying derives not only from dreams of flight somewhat realized, but also the ability to combine it with other pastimes or even art forms—and then there’s commercial drone filming. Drone aircraft can be fitted with high-grade video and photo cameras, used to create art installations, or even deployed for scientific purposes—the applications are endless. 

Commercial uses of drone photography are the bread and butter of Jay Christensen, a cinematographer with the US production house Rally Studios, who often combines traditional filmmaking with advanced drone piloting skills. His production are often breathtaking—just last year he uploaded a video showing Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan effortlessly sailing over an icebound lake. 

This time around, however, Christensen considerably upped the ante. Using a light, four-rotor Cinewhoop drone fitted with a GoPro camera, the filmmaker flew through the cramped interior of the Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, a Minneapolis bowling alley with a restaurant, a bar, and even a cabaret theater. The video’s single take opens outside, with the drone dropping low and entering the venue through its double doors. Then, the aircraft passes by the bar and visits the bowling lanes, sailing down to follow one of the balls heading for the pins. All of it in astonishingly smooth 4K resolution, with the camera literally at lane-level. 

The rich choreography and dynamic footage of Right Up Our Alley then take us behind the scenes of the alley and give us a peek at the venue’s complex machinery. While everything seems to imply that the daredevil video will eventually end with the drone in pieces, the opposite happens—smashing into the pins at the end of the lane, the drone lands alongside them in the reloading rig, shooting all the way until the film cuts to black. The dronework on display in the stunning video is nothing short of masterful.

Right Up Our Alley
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