Philadelphia-based videographer Max Tubman and friends at Expressway Productions this week released the above video, which features small drones zipping through a styled Divine Lorraine interior. Complete with high-speed, hair-pin turns, flips, and barrel rolls, the footage presents an energetic view of an otherwise decaying — yet still revered — Philadelphia landmark.
"I want to give it some Philly flavor," Tubman says. "We have a unique space here, so on one hand you can preserve the memory of the Divine Lorraine, and on the other you can promote the reinvention of the space."
Tubman, who is the man behind the drone videography unit Steam Machine Aerial, says he and his cohorts also hope to take that racing style a little further by establishing a series of drone races around Philadelphia. He is currently working with Philadelphia FPV racing, a local league, to establish a path to bring some public races to the Philadelphia area.
"I'm more familiar with large cinema rigs, but those guys are quite excellent," Tubman says of Philly FPV. "Between the film and racing experience, we can make something really cool."
At this point, the races are only in the planning stages — but keep an eye out. Drone racing as a sport is still fairly new, cropping up shortly after the devices became widely available to the public in recent years. It does, however, grow quickly, with an official Drone Racing League having announced its inaugural season back in January. However, the first US national drone-racing competition was held in California in July 2015.
"It's a growing, crazy sport, and you're going to see more of it," Tubman says.
The Divine Lorraine itself, meanwhile, is being redeveloped to include 100 residential units, as well as 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Officials reportedly expect the project to be completed two years from its September 2015 start date.