Ottawa International Airport (CYOW)
‘Blaze’ tells the story of a troubled country singer through the eye of drones and the DJI Osmo.
Ethan Hawke’s forthcoming biopic, Blaze, sees the actor make the move from center stage to the director’s chair. The movie tells the story of the late country and western artist Blaze Foley, and is being filmed in almost entirely with DJI products. That doesn’t mean most of the movie is filmed from the air, though. DJI drones are part of the production, but the company’s non-flying camera gear, including the Osmo RAW and the Ronin DSLR stabilizer, were used extensively throughout the production. DJI was at SXSW in Austin to talk about its involvement in the film — all part of its DJI Creative Studio initiative.
Foley’s story is peppered with misfortune and tragedy. Most notably, his untimely death at just 40 years old, after a neighbor’s son shot him in the chest. Couple this with a period in his life known as “the missing years” and a musical influence that reaches luminaries such as Willie Nelson, and you essentially have a biopic that writes itself. Except, this one was written by Hawke and Blaze’s former sweetheart, Sybil Rosen. Hawke approached Rosen about the project after reading her own telling of Foley’s story in the book “Living in the Woods in a Tree.”
By James Estrin
The New York Times staff photographer Josh Haner was an early adopter of drone photography. His earliest forays were with a $60 gadget that he maneuvered around his living room. Since then, he has aimed ever higher, doing videos and stills high above the Gobi Desert and the Marshall Islands. He has embraced the technology in ways that add a stunning dimension to his storytelling, while at the same time presenting unforeseen challenges. His interview with James Estrin has been edited for length and clarity.
It could lead to faster smart devices.