Many businesses have been hard-hit by the effects of the pandemic, especially businesses in the indoor entertainment and recreational sphere. Business owners have adapted in various ways, coming up with creative and innovative new marketing strategies and business plans to stay afloat. But for a purely recreational facility like a bowling alley, that isn’t so easy to do. That is, unless you’ve got a viral video of incredible FPV (first-person view) drone footage up your sleeve. Since it was first posted a few days ago, an expertly shot drone video showcasing beloved Minneapolis staple, the Bryant Lake Bowl, has received more than a million views. And, due to its overnight popularity, Right Up Our Alley—the video’s clever title— has even received recognition from film industry giants, including Elijah Wood, James Gunn, Lee Unkrich, and Todd Vaziri.
Descending smoothly from above to zoom lithely through the door, tailing a bowling ball as it zips down the lane, swooping in and out of tight spaces, twirling, rising, and falling—it’s quite the sight to behold and an incredible feat in cinematic expression. Captured in one continuous take—and without any added digital effects—the video took hours of coordination, well-timed choreography, and at least 10 different takes to achieve the final mind-blowing result. And all that is effectively wrapped up with only one (intentional) crash landing—the final shot as the drone makes a perfect strike, crashing into the pins and tumbling into the mechanics of the machine. The only thing that was actually added to the video in post was the audio, due to the noisiness of the drone during filming.
And if you’re worried about whether or not the drone made it out of the bowling alley in one piece, don’t be. Fortunately, the drone was not harmed in the making of this video. “It's got this little break on the protective casing,” adept drone pilot Jay Christensen of Rally Studios reveals, “but it still flies perfectly, and we flew it right after we crashed it into there.” Luckily it all turned out for the best in the end, in spite of the effects that the pandemic and bouts of civil unrest have wreaked on certain parts of Minneapolis.
“It's been a tough year for Lake Street, and not just because of COVID,” Christensen explains. “All the buildings that were burned made me really think that if there was a day where Bryant Lake Bowl wasn't here, that'd be a bummer for sure. So if we can help out with the shot and be creative in the meantime, I think it's a win-win all around.”
This incredible FPV drone video was shot entirely in one take! Watch the incredible footage, filmed in Minneapolis's Bryant Lake Bowl.
The video has since received over a million views and even gained recognition from Hollywood stars and film industry giants alike.
This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Jaw on the floor. https://t.co/OSV1m8cqpG
— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) March 10, 2021
HOLY SHIT https://t.co/kzzFrYzZ3Y
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) March 9, 2021
Oh my God this drone shot is stupendous. 🎳 pic.twitter.com/bUcfRtq70O
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 9, 2021
This kind of wonderful photographic innovation adds to the language and vocabulary of cinema. Just beautiful. https://t.co/HZU8ls3kiK
— Todd Vaziri (@tvaziri) March 9, 2021