Liam Young, 27 09 16

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 pre programmed drones. In collaboration with the Embedded and Artificially intelligent Vision Lab in Belgium the film is captured by a specially developed flock of camera drones each with their own set of 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.

Directed by Liam Young
Written By Tim Maughan
Starring Maia Watkins and Moe Bargahi
Produced by Dani Admiss
Music by Forest Swords
Director of Photography Vini Curtis
Drone Costumes by Jennifer Chen
Human Costumes by Maharishi
Camera Drone pilot Liam Young
Tethered Character Drone Pilot Denis Stretton
Special Thanks Alexey Marfin
Commissioned by Channel 4 Random Acts and STUK, Belgium.

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