One-shot drone video goes behind the scenes as bowling alley prepares to re-open

·2-min read
 ( Bloomsbury Lanes/Skypower)
( Bloomsbury Lanes/Skypower)

DRONE footage gives an extraordinary bowling ball’s-eye view inside London’s Bloomsbury Lanes - as the operator prepares to open following months of lockdown.

The two-minute clip, shot in a single take on a Cinewhoop FPV drone by London-based studios Skypower, takes viewers on a virtual whizz through the operator’s venue near King’s Cross.

The camera buzzes past a cast of invited guests as it swoops past customers, players and the karaoke room before descending to provide a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the inner-workings of the automated lanes.

The team behind the fly-through video hope to emulate the huge viral success of a similar project in Minnesota, USA, which won praise from film-makers including Pixar director Lee Unkrich and Star Wars SFX artist Todd Vaziri.

Sandra Williamson, of Skypower, said: “We initially had to carry out a recce of the site to ensure we not only captured everything the client wanted but also to familiarise the pilot with the route he would have to fly.

“We then had to brief and set up the staged visitors ensuring they reacted naturally when the drone passed over them and finally our sound engineer had to work his magic to make sure the sound effect replicated the movement of passing through the venue.

“The pilot is a very experienced drone pilot and for many years as well as working commercially for us with heavy lift drones and production cameras he also enjoys competing and flying racing drones, where the drone is much lighter, nimble and very fast and the pilot will wear a headset a bit like a video game.

“The shot was then achieved as one long single shot. It really is down to the skill of the pilot in getting through those tight spaces and we have carried out similar fly throughs at historical sites.”

The original video, shot at the Bryant Lake Bowl & Theatre in downtown Minneapolis, was filmed as part of an effort to help local businesses recover from coronavirus-related losses.

Bloomsbury Lanes, in the basement of the Tavistock Hotel, is taking bookings from Monday. Visit

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