- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

SALEM, S.D. (AP) - A viral video of a 1,500-foot light bulb change near Salem will be featured in a film festival in New York City alongside drone footage from National Geographic, NBC News and Cirque De Soleil.

The vertigo-inducing video first garnered the Internet’s attention in late 2014, racking up more than a million views in less than a week for Prairie Aerial Photography proprietor Todd Thorin.

The South Dakota video has since surpassed 6 million views. It was selected last month as one of the 43 short films to appear at the New York City Drone Film Festival, which took more than 330 submissions from 45 countries.

The March 5-6 event sold out in less than a day, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1T7JbAS ) reported.

Thorin heard about the film festival last year in a story about the crystal clear video he’d shot of his Sioux Falls Tower co-worker, Kevin Schmidt. He was too late to enter the film in the first drone festival, but made sure to enter it this time around.

“Whatever happens, it’s pretty cool to be a selection,” Thorin said. “You get to play the celebrity for a night - walk the red carpet and everything.”

The sky-high video will compete in the “architecture” category alongside three other drone-shot films. Other categories include “Extreme Sports,” ”Landscape,” ”News” and “Freestyle.”

The Salem video will mix in with films of diving drones in city centers, overhead shots of the damage from a Nepalese earthquake and sprawling footage over Norwegian fjords, ski jumps and bridges.

For the gala on March 5, Thorin said he’s pondered taking his South Dakota roots on tour alongside the other drone photographers in New York.

“I was thinking about going there the way our Grandpa used to get us dressed up for special occasions: A nice white shirt and tie and a pair of overalls,” Thorin said.

The film festival is only part of the story of how the video has helped boost Thorin’s Prairie Aerial photography business, which he runs with his son. Discovery Channel Canada hired the company to shoot footage for a feature on the show “Daily Planet,” for example, and they’ve filmed wind towers, ag operations and an extensive flyover tour of Sioux Falls on a sunny Saturday morning.

The 1,500-foot video that brought the first wave of attention, however, was shot outside the guidelines for drone footage. Aircraft - which the drone was classified as at the time of the shoot - aren’t allowed to fly that close to a TV tower.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s rules for commercial and non-commercial drones were released shortly after the film went viral, and larger consumer-grade drones now require registration.

Thorin has applied for an exemption from the FAA to allow for the continued filming of towers and other utility-related operations. The exemption is still pending.

There are still plenty of places to film until then, but there’s one skyline the Prairie Aerial drone won’t enter: New York City.

“I don’t know all the rules in that town,” Thorin said.

___

Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide