We thought the proposed FAA regulations pertaining to small UAF was an unreasonable restriction for private individuals and businesses with respect to the unmitigated control that the US Government and it's associated private agencies enjoy in airspace overseas. We believe it is reasonable to expect lobbying power of large corporations to grant them greater privilege in domestic airspace. This leaves private individuals without much in the way of equal recourse for innovation and security.
Originally we wanted to create an engineer's handbook of sorts - an absurdist document occupying a serious template. We shifted when we found out about the proposed FAA regulations. After creating a minimally workable prototype (CV facial recognition using the Parrot AR Drone 2.0's onboard camera) we decided to send the documentation to the FAA as commentary.
Ultimately, we feel the way we told our story was more effective than the prototype we chose to create.
We realized we carried through to this second iteration of our final project our initial urge to create a work of dark humor— which was our response to the unmitigated heaviness of the material in class.
Tonally and stylistically we realize the piece nods to a zeitgeist of oblivious techie libertarianism (nonthreatening, patronizing towards the Federal government, Wes Anderson tweeness and aestheticism). Libertarianism under or overtones were inevitable here— in class some of our speakers and readings shared this general category of thought. Developing a response to these FAA restrictions on a technology we innovate for at ITP and which is in our best interest to defend the freedom of merits some comparison to NRA sentiments. This understanding is balanced by the realization that these FAA regulations may also benefit the individual and greater public's safety by preventing the misuse of drones by irresponsible individuals. Working through these lines of thinking in shaping the story and tone of our project made us realize it's a nuanced situation without black and white conclusions. The ideas behind Libertarian thought also seem to gain merit in the presence of evidence of extreme lack of control underneath authorities.
Another element which developed was a marked personification of the drone. In this film the drone becomes a like-able familiar - bumbling and eager to please - a far cry from the ominous death-bringers in international US military operations.
Aside from being both an FAA commentary and a documentation, it's a film constituted of a document about a documentation about the documentation process. We set out to document the drone we created to send a commentary to the FAA and also ended up making a (tongue-in-cheek) film about documentation and tech exploration. We realized it should tonally embody our ideas to the fullest extent possible. We agreed on the documentation day to behave as if we were acting in a mockumentary, or rather a self-aware documentary filmmaking process. Some of it is very real and circumstantial and some of it was improvised during the documentation process with the intent of fleshing out a tonally complete narrative.