City of Niort : Realization of a film with drone by teenagers

21 January 2017. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Temps de lecture : 3 min  

Creation, writing, production, interpretation of a film entirely shot with a drone, piloted by teenagers.

On two successive Saturdays in January 2017, the city of Niort, in partnership with the FRMJC of Poitou Charentes and within the framework of the device Passeurs d’images, I proposed a workshop of realization of film with drone, entitled “Filmer la peur”. The goal of this film was to be broadcast, fifteen days after its realization, in the framework of a polar festival in Niort, “Regards Noirs”. Project accompanied by David Audouit (Chargé de manifestations culturelles - City of Niort) and Alice Chaput-Yogo (Mediator Passeurs d’images - FRMJC Poitou-Charentes).

Here is the film, “The Warning” (7’41s, 2017), made collectively by the teenagers in this workshop:

Film produced as part of the regional coordinator Passeurs d’Images
Regional Federation of the Houses of Youth and Culture of Poitou-Charentes
With the support of :
Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs New Aquitaine
Regional Council of New Aquitaine
DR-D-JSCS New-Aquitaine

Creative Approach

What was the approach that made it possible to succeed in two days with a group of ten teenagers, to make a film constructed, scripted, on a thematic and that is more turned with a complicated (but exciting) What is the drone, the device being piloted by the teenagers themselves?

First Saturday

  • The first stage was a test of turning, inside and outside, with the drone, which I was driving. We looked at the images in a big way, in the dark, and we discussed the potentialities, the ideas that aroused. Ideas that I noticed gradually on a mindmap. That is to say that the discussion “scenario” was not “theoretical”, but according to the reality of the possibilities of this particular camera.
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  • Then I invited each person to express his desire: does he want to drive the device, do something else?
  • Next, the method, after discussions, was to go, in sequence, a scene of the film, the drone being piloted by one of the adolescents. Then come back to watch this sequence, discuss it, and, from there, evolve ideas for other sequences, the order of things in the movie, and so on. That is to say that the process of writing was iterative: we follow (not necessarily the chronological sequence besides) according to what was done previously, but according to the reality Of what has been done, not of a theoretical theoretical idea.
  • Numerical tools and their ability to make us see very quickly the contents produced, make it possible to inscribe the process of audiovisual writing no longer as a prerequisite for realization, but as an integral part of the realization.
  • What was very important is that every moment of viewing, after the shootings, is really concentrated, in large, in the dark, so that we receive fully what was contained in the images that had just been made. Sometimes, it is chance, “defects”, accidents, that suggest ideas, which can be major for the film.
  • At the end of the first day, by putting a video editing software (Vegas Pro) full screen on the video projector, I assembled, during a collective discussion, the plans made during the day, Order.
  • So, we had a first montage, mute, scenes shot during the day. I immediately put on line this first montage, and I gave the link to the participants. Thus, throughout the week before the workshop on the following Saturday, they were able to watch over and over again what had been achieved, to think about it, and more than that to be intimate with work, Of the unconscious of each one, and the real appropriation (I can show, on my phone, to my friends, the film that I am making), which is the key to motivation, involvement, and Therefore of a quality achievement, since it is important for every person who participates in it.

Second Saturday

  • The second Saturday, each had matured in relation to the project. There were scenes left to shoot, but we rediscussed them, adapted many things. And then we used the same process of filming + viewing + discussion + editing + other filming, and so on.
  • Once the shooting was finished, we worked on the soundtrack of the film: recordings, inside and outside, of sounds, music searches, and assembly of sounds on the images.
  • At the end of the day, the editing, done collectively, was finished, and the film put on line, so that immediately the participants could share it, give it existence in their social space.

Life experience

Piloting a drone is an impressive experience because it is difficult to control, it is a flying, noisy, fast object that seems dangerous (but the model chosen, a Parrot Bebop, is not dangerous, workshop). The youngsters had, almost all, very frightened before turning their scene, did not feel capable. But everyone risked it. My job was to produce a sufficiently reassuring framework for everyone to take a risk. How is this framework produced? Well, for example, the young person who is going to fly who says he does not feel capable, that he is afraid, etc., is listening to him sympathetically but still putting the drone in his hands and To start. And it is because there is this real risk (the more so because it is framed, it is the pedagogical paradox, a subject that could be developed much) that something of the " The order of life, which in my opinion feels in the images, and makes the film interesting for a viewer.

Of course, after this strong experience, and all the more so with the quality of the images produced, the young people were all the more proud, and the experience was all the more constructive for them.

Risk to hold the frame

The framework in which we really take risks is much more productive in terms of creation and quality of work than the framework with which we try to reassure ourselves. At the personal level of the intervener, how do you manage this type of framework? Well it is decided to trust the young, for example the 12-year-old preado terrorized at the idea of driving a drone, in a parking lot among cars and people, when we ourselves are very scared. So that we risk ourselves, really, to the situation, that we also live strong emotions, but that we give full and complete trust and responsibility to the other. Then the other climbs to that level and surpasses himself.

The drone is “democratizing”, begins to enter our lives. The world seen from above, the real world through this flying eye, disembodied, as in our vision of virtual worlds... our representation of the world is changing because of this new “look”, which is spreading.But what is the point of view of this disembodied eye ? What political position holds on it ? What new aesthetic derived ? What relationship to the body, to the territory, to the architecture, is deployed there ? In short, what is happening to our viewpoint ?It seems important to me to explore the use of these machines in their (...)