Swiss start-up awarded at Film Festival in New York

14.03.2016 09:56
Verity Studios

The New York City Drone Film Festival is the world's first event exclusively dedicated to celebrating the art of drone. Among this year’s winners is Verity Studios. The start-up realised an amazing film in collaboration with ETH Zurich and Cirque du Soleil.

The 2nd Annual New York City Drone Film Festival was held from March 4th - March 6th 2016. The three-day event featured a dynamic slate of interactive panel discussions, guest speakers, screenings of nominated films and the annual awards ceremony. The festival offers an international platform for filmmakers from every corner of the globe to exhibit their work in front of industry professionals and the drone cinema fan community. 

“Just as drones have become more technically advanced and integrated into society, the NYC Drone Film Festival has experienced a year of tremendous growth,” said Festival Founder and Director Randy Scott Slavin. “We’ve expanded from a one-night event to a three-day happening. We’re holding interactive panels and seminars highlighting the influence of drones around the world. And we’ve expanded our award categories from nine to eleven.”

This year’s winner in the category „Featuring Drones“ is: Sparked: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters by Cirque Du Soleil, ETH Zurich and the start-up Verity Studios. The video of Cirque du Soleil shows a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync. Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future. No CGI have been used for the film.

The film was shot at the Flying Machine Arena (FMA) of ETH Zurich, a portable space devoted to autonomous flight. Measuring up to 10 x 10 x 10 meters, it consists of a high-precision motion capture system, a wireless communication network, and custom software executing sophisticated algorithms for estimation and control.

Background information can also be found in an interview with Raffaello D'Andrea, professor at ETH Zurich's Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and his former deputy director and co-founder of the ETH spin-off company Verity Studios AG, Markus Weibel at the ETH website.


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