Movies filmed without human involvement could show up in cinemas sooner than you think. While you’re unlikely to see a bionic Spielberg anytime soon, a new type of drone being developed at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could potentially put camera operators out of work… albeit way, way in the future.
Labelled “real-time motion planning for aerial videography”, this experimental drone system can let a director manipulate the basic dimensions of a shot – say, how wide the frame is. Unlike similar systems, MIT’s drone also frequently measures objects in its immediate vicinity, constantly performing scans 50 times per second, minimising the chances of it smacking some unaware actor upside the head.
The notion of drone-filmed movies isn’t quite as fanciful as you think, either. In recent years the likes of Jurassic World and even The Wolf of Wall Street had scenes that were partially filmed by drone helicopters.