MINNEAPOLIS — It is 87 seconds of excitement: A drone zooms through a Minneapolis bowling alley, showing a bird’s eye view of pins tumbling. The sights and sounds of a typical night at the lanes are crisp and clear.
The film, called “Right Up Our Alley,” was shot by Jay Christensen, KARE-TV reported. It showed interactions between employees at the bowling alley and customers.
Farrah Donovan was among several staff members and volunteers who showed up to act last week for the drone shoot, produced by Sky Candy Studios, the television station reported.
“Everyone is like doubting it,” Donovan, a bartender at the lanes, told KARE. “I can vouch that it’s 100% real. I was here.”
Director Anthony Jaska said the video was not intended to be a commercial for the business. Rather, it was meant to showcase storytelling through a first-person view drone, KARE reported.
“It’s just doing something unique,” Jaska told the television. “It’s taking a traditional storytelling and putting new technology behind it. There’s no cuts. It’s a one-take, no CG (computer generated imagery).”
What you see is what you get, as the video was shot in one take and at high velocity, The New York Times reported. The drone zooms through tight spaces and without digital effects.
The bowling alley also has a restaurant, a cabaret theater and a bar that makes “rail cocktails, the Times reported. It opened in 1936 in a former garage that had serviced Model T Fords.
All that was added in post-production was the audio and dialogue because of the loud buzz of the drone.
Hollywood is loving the video, too.
“This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” tweeted director Lee Unkrich, whose 2017 film “Coco” won an Academy Award for best animated feature. “Jaw on the floor.”
The video also caught the attention of fellow director James Gunn, who tweeted Tuesday: “Oh my God this drone shot is stupendous.”
Gunn followed up with a second tweet about the video, saying: “I want them to come with us to London later this year when we shoot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
There is humor in the video, too. People in the drone’s path can be heard quoting from “The Big Lebowski,” the Times reported.
“My foot wasn’t over the line,” a woman near the lanes says to her bowling partner. “Mark it eight, dude.”
“This is bowling, there are rules,” her partner quips, quoting the 1998 film. “I’m not counting it.”
Jaska said that the video looks smooth, but took plenty of work.
“I’m walking through the scene and I’m cuing each person to throw the ball, or it’s coming back up,” Jaska told KARE. “It takes a lot of effort. A lot of time.”
Christensen, 25, said the video took about five practice runs before the team began filming with the actors and movements.
“We probably did 10 takes with the camera running,” Christensen told KARE. “The first few, the timing was way off and we would get to a certain part and the bowler wouldn’t be there, or maybe the drone was a little out of position, so it was cool to see, halfway through the process, how we had to kind of restructure everything.”
Christensen said he was amazed at the attention the video has received.
“Going to bed on Sunday evening, people were like, ‘Oh, this is a cool video,’” Christensen told KSTP. “Then I was just on a run on Lake Street and all of a sudden my phone just started going off like crazy.”
Christensen told the television station he believes he has shot about 1,000 drone videos over the past seven years. That includes a sunset skate on White Bear Lake last year that inspired Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan to visit Minnesota.
“I’ve never had a girlfriend, so I get a lot of free time I guess,” Christensen told KTSP. “And I just love to fly.”
Christensen may have struck out in relationships, but his video has been a big hit.
Cox Media Group