A Drone’s-Eye-View of South Boston

You’ve never seen a three-decker like this before.

Image via Vimeo

Image via Vimeo

Time-lapse videos of Boston are all the rage. But if there’s one sequence of film that trumps the sped-up version of our daily lives, it’s a look at where we live from high above.

In a new video, South Boston resident Ed Dudley took to the skies with his new drone—something that has become increasingly popular as a recreational activity—and captured shots of the historic neighborhood that people wouldn’t otherwise get to enjoy unless they took a tour of the city in a private helicopter or airplane.

Since regulations on drone use as a hobby are currently fairly lax, Dudley was able to maneuver around Castle Island, speed down side streets lined with three-decker houses, and rise up with the sun over city monuments. Once he had the footage he needed, Dudley started editing it together, setting the entire montage to an orchestrated rendition of Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk,” before releasing it to the public.

We caught up with Dudley briefly to find out what made him decide to dip into the world of drone-made movies. Here’s his take:

What was the motivation behind capturing South Boston this way?

Flying out of Logan Airport my entire life, I have always been captivated by the 15 or so seconds you fly over South Boston. When I learned this technology existed, I immediately knew my first video would bring a similar perspective to the area I now call home. There are a lot of people, that even live/study in Boston that do not know Castle Island and the beaches even exist—not to mention what the inside of the castle looks like. I wanted to bring a different perspective to the area while trying my best to highlight its beauty.

How long did it take you to make this video?

I filmed five different times, each time for about 10 minutes, over the course of two weeks.  Then it was just a matter of editing down and sequencing the raw footage.

Is the whole thing shot on a drone?

Yes, the whole thing was shot with the DJI Phantom 2, which has a GoPro camera attached below. Additionally, it has a FPV (first person view) setup, which allows the controller to look at a monitor, which has a live feed to the camera during flights. It’s about 16 inches by 16 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds.

How long have you had a drone?

I bought the drone back in January and have anxiously been waiting to fly it since. Impatience got the best of me a few times during the winter, which only led to cold fingers and broken wings when the brittle plastic hit the rock hard ground.

Has anyone confronted you about flying one of these machines?

Other than a few interested and awestruck locals, no authorities have confronted me.

Do you think the abilities a drone has will help shape what we see, do, and share as a community?

Absolutely.  Many people have commented on how the video has brought back nostalgic memories, or have never been to Boston but will some day make a point to visit. A few years ago this technology did not exist, and I think it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

South Boston From The Sky from Hawki Productions on Vimeo.