Storytelling In The Sky

Ben O'Hara

From shows to installations, we create entertainment experiences that connect people. We think unconventionally. We do things differently. We create the unique. We set the stage, the memories are theirs....forever

July 23, 2021

At The Business Creative, we’ve already got the Drone bug. Having purchased the tech recently, we’ve been having a lot of fun on the beach and the South Downs, getting to grips with the endless possibilities for future development and inclusion in our creative concepts. Ok, so we’re not quite putting 500 drones into the sky and choreographing them to orchestral Ibiza classics, just yet. However, we’re getting really excited about the possibilities ahead. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, drone light shows are performed by synchronised, choreographed and illuminated groups of drones that arrange themselves into dynamic aerial formations. Almost any image can be recreated in the sky by a computer programme that turns graphics into flight commands and communicates them to the drones.  

In Shanghai this spring, a video-game company put on a light show which used 1,300 drones to create a QR code in the sky (see below). The audience were able to scan the functional code with their phones which directed them to the game company’s website. More recently, Greenpeace orchestrated a swarm of 300 drones to descend on Cornwall, demanding that G7 world leaders ‘ACT NOW’ to protect the planet. The spectacular display saw the drones form 3D animals and words, interlaced with projections. It was one of the largest drone shows ever produced in the UK https://youtu.be/QJAJ5-WZnxI

The team at The Business Creative are well versed in producing large scale aerial shows, having spent a number of years producing fireworks shows for the UK’s biggest visitor attraction, Alton Towers, and numerous clients in the UAE. There is an increasing debate about the environmental impact of fireworks – pollution, noise and the detrimental effect on sensitive wildlife populations. In fact, in many parts of the world fireworks displays have been banned altogether.  It would seem that drone light shows are perfectly positioned to overcome these issues and fill the gap.

In many cases, drone shows have been used successfully to complement fireworks displays. However, as a new and exciting form of entertainment, we think drones have much more to offer. They are capable of a far greater range of effects and their capacity for complicated and sophisticated choreography gives them a huge amount of potential for storytelling in the sky.

As with all technologies, the drone light show world is evolving quickly. With software companies developing ways to streamline processes and reduce the amount of work required to produce a show, costs are coming down and the shows are more accessible. Drones light shows are appearing at New Year’s Eve events, music videos (Ollie Gabriel https://youtu.be/7DQ4covPEyE), product launches and even Celine Dion took a swarm with her on her latest world tour.

We’re really excited to see the new software developments and start to plan how we might be able to integrate drone technology into our creative concepts. It would seem that the sky is not actually the limit!

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