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A Drone Video That's More Than Skyscrapers

By Stasia Fong 15 September 2014
Videographers are taking their Hong Kong filmmaking to the next level. Drones are frequently enlisted to provide those bird’s-eye-views of our city and we love them! From Team BlackSheep to Billy Boyd Cape’s ‘A Wander Through Hong Kong’, they seem to effortlessly zip between buildings, allowing those of us who prefer keeping our two feet on the ground, to virtually fly above our favorite landmarks. Now, we bring you Douglas Ryan Kirk’s take on drone videography, ‘Flying Over Hong Kong’ for our latest Video of the Week.   Flying over Hong Kong from Douglas Newkirk on Vimeo. Kirk, an American, interior designer, and amateur drone videographer resides in Shanghai and made ‘Flying Over Hong Kong’ on his most recent visit to our island. Making the most of his time before heading to the airport to catch his flight, Kirk decided to film an impromptu video of the city. However, his impromptu video decision limited his location scouting for the piece. “I had wanted to do a short flight with the drone and didn’t have time to cover more places in Hong Kong. I wanted to capture some iconic part of the city and the people,” Kirk tells Localiiz. Shooting right in the heart of Central, amongst iconic landmarks such as the Bank of China Tower, Kirk definitely captured what he set off to film. He took a bit of a risk however, as under Hong Kong Civil Aviation Law, drones are not legally allowed to fly within 50 meters of any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure not under the control of the Unmanned Aircraft System Operator. “I thought perhaps I would [get in trouble], but luckily I didn’t,” Kirk says. “The drone was only up in the air for about 15 minutes, which may not have been long enough for any police to respond.” We at Localiiz think his risk paid off, as he’s created one of the most charming drone videos we’ve seen yet. The video captures the curiosity of many passersby. The reaction of one particular little boy is an absolute delight to watch. “At first, I was worried they would get in the way, or make it difficult to land the drone, but I noticed passersby were just genuinely interested in watching it. Especially the little boy had no reservations about getting up close and personal - as children do,” Kirk explains. Kirk says he brought in the human aspect to “tell a story about the contrasting scale of the city — the human scale of the people sitting in the park, and the detail of the sidewalk, to the grandness of seeing the entire city from a birds eye.” Much better than a boring video of more buildings, don’t you think? Like all creative people, Kirk wants to extend his video by adding locations to the piece. “I have plans to cover more areas of Hong Kong and edit them together…It’s a city all about vertical stacking and layers, which can make for very rich video.” We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the extended cut! Got anything cool you'd like Localiiz to share? Send us your stuff!

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Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Stasia Fong is a freelance writer with dreams of breaking into the television industry and executive produce her own television show.