A few weeks ago we posted this video to announce our decision date, 3/14/15 at 9:26AM:
According to my inbox, which is as complete a record as anything else of offbeat communications ideas we toss around the office, we first began talking about this basic idea in December 2013, right around the time Amazon announced Prime Air.
Anyway: when Amazon released this video, we figured there might be a chance. The blogger email thread escalated quickly until/as we figured out that this kind of thing wasn’t possible. Be that as it may, Matt and Kris and I kept sending each other news clippings about drone delivery ideas and startups and vaporware and such. And so we finally decided that, well, if we couldn’t actually deliver tubes by drone (yet), then we might as well imagine what it would be like if we could. So, last fall, we got in a room with former blogger/current producer of the MIT+K12 Videos Elizabeth Choe and current sophomore Loren Sherman to figure out how to do it. At that meeting, we figured out a basic storyline (Stu gives tube to drone, drones start delivering tubes all over the place), and then we just started…making a video.
Spoiler alert: most of the video is computer-generated (we’ll get to that). However, we knew that at least some of the video needed to be shot on actual campus with actual drones and actual tubes. So, last October 5th, Loren and I met up on campus with my uncle Andy and my cousin Noah. Last year Andy and Noah founded DronePros, a company that uses both land and airborne cameras to create compelling videos. You may have seen their video A Dog’s Snow Day, which went viral earlier this winter during one of Boston’s record-breaking snowstorms. They also filmed my brothers wakeboarding in New Hampshire last summer during a family vacation, and this awesome video of whale watches off the coast of Boston last August that is so beautiful and soothing I’m going to embed it right here:
Noah was going to be on campus for MIT’s SAT test prep classes anyway, so he and Andy just came by a bit early so we could quickly shoot some drone footage. We set up in the loading dock beneath the Stata Center and started fooling around with a drone and a video camera.
Loren walked around campus getting some b-roll footage of campus to use as the background later. We waited to film Stu until February, when we came in before committee one morning to record him marching around the tunnels with tube in hand (note: he’s very good at this).
Almost all of the magic of this video arose in the editing/production process, and 100% of it was conjured by Loren, who I have come to suspect is an actual wizard. Loren applied to MIT while I was in grad school, so I didn’t read his application, but after he was admitted one of my friends sent me the digital arts portfolio he’d included as a supplement:
Loren spends a lot of time in the New Media Center working on a variety of multimedia projects. And, since last November, he’s spent a lot of time in the NMC working specifically on this video: animating, rigging, compositing, correcting, and, most importantly, lens-flareing.