Ethan Hawke shot most of his forthcoming biopic with DJI gear

‘Blaze’ tells the story of a troubled country singer through the eye of drones and the DJI Osmo.

DJI

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.”

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Democratizing the Sky: Drones in Visual Journalism

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.

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Filming with drones: a legal guide

Sarah Lazarides from law firm Harbottle & Lewis on what you need to know before using a drone on a film shoot.

The evolution of drone technology has been ground-breaking for the film and television industry. For the first time, it is possible to get high quality and dramatic aerial footage without the expense of helicopters or cranes. But following a number of criminal prosecutions for misuse of drones, what are the potential legal pitfalls that producers should be aware of? Here is a brief guide. Continue reading

Drone smashes through woman’s apartment window

Drones learn to land on their own using ‘fuzzy logic’

Fuzzy logic helps the drone make good navigational decisions amid a sea of statistical noise.

drone, drone landing, fuzzy logic, automatic drone landing, artificial intelligence, drone fuzzy logic AI, tech news

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, are using artificial intelligence called fuzzy logic to get drones to navigate and land themselves on moving platforms without any help. Researchers from University of Cincinnati in the US applied a concept called fuzzy logic, the kind of reasoning people employ subconsciously every day. Instead of seeing the world in black and white, fuzzy logic allows for nuance or degrees of truth. “It’s the only realistic way that drones will have commercially viable uses such as delivering that roll of toilet paper to customers,” said Manish Kumar, associate professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US.

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