PartnersTAIT Towers + Verity Studios
Photo CreditTED

Live Event Drones

Autonomous Dynamic Flying Machines

TAIT has partnered with Verity Studios, experts in dynamic flying machines, to launch the power of drones in live event. We believe that drones fundamentally transform the live event experience and are rapidly emerging as a new medium for creative expression. Outdoors, they allow for the creation of large-scale imagery in the sky; and indoors they can bridge the physical space between performers and audiences, extending the intimacy of the stage and amplifying emotional impact beyond what is possible with conventional techniques. Whether equipped with costumes, props, lights, or cameras, these autonomous flying machines can be directed to suggest intent and emotion, becoming stage players in their own right.

Drones Live Events
“Drone technology offers a powerful story telling mechanism that connects with the audience to a degree beyond what is possible with conventional stage techniques.”

“What emerges from this rich layer of technology is strikingly poetic. Artistic value is derived from the ability to create striking images and sculptures in space, animating their movement and lighting, and tightly synchronizing the intricate patterns that emerge to music, to express emotion and to endow individual or collective, floating characters with personality. The great flexibility of these systems ranges from pixel-level control of motions and lighting to carrying elaborate, actuated costumes for characters that can be freely positioned and moved in 3D space. This allows mimicking and recalling a wide range of emotions that we easily recognize: curiosity, joy, fear, anger, love.

Unlike pixels on screen, the drones are physical objects that can move with intent and purpose. They occupy the same space as human performers and can interact with them through lighting, motion, sound, or physical contact. And they can move into the space of spectators, breaking the fourth wall. Their effect can be surprising and its emotional impact irrepressible. As such, this technology offers a powerful story telling mechanism that connects with the audience to a degree beyond what is possible with conventional stage techniques.

In a show, drones can be used in a variety of ways: They can be dressed up in costumes to act like characters or as three-dimensional scenography; they can dance and interact with human performers; they can become flying lights offering unique lighting opportunities; they can be used to deploy stage effects like confetti, snow, or stage fog; and they can carry payloads including cameras, mirrors, lasers, or spotlights.

Large numbers of drones can be used to create natural swarm-like behaviors or geometric shapes. These choreographed movements create novel stage effects that cannot be achieved otherwise. Synchronization of each drone’s lights and movement allows for the creation of intricate patterns, which can be synchronized with stage lighting, effects, and to music. By leveraging human perception of 3D structure from motion, drone swarms can be used for convincing illusions of very large objects floating in space. Synthetic swarms of small, safe drones flying out over the audience have been successfully used to stunning effect.

Due to this technology’s novelty, high degree of technical sophistication, and physical limits of drones’ movements, creative ambition must be carefully balanced against safety and reliability considerations. The most compelling results are achieved by engaging with drone show experts early in the creative process.”

To learn more, read the entire white paper here.