You’ve seen the viral bowling alley video by now. And the one you’re about to see is, in our opinion, just as good. It even involves a couple of very slick tricks.

This video (such as this one colleague Ishveena Singh wrote about) is a clever piece of marketing. It reveals a story – which happens to highlight the features and offerings of a commercial operation. It’s smart: You get to watch a well-executed video with viral potential, all while being exposed to imagery that’s intended to show you a great facility where you just might want to book your wedding.

That is, assuming you’re getting married sometime soon and live in the UK (or can afford to travel there).

Elmore Court

That’s the name of the location for this shoot. And – wow – what a location! Located in Gloucestershire, the massive house traces its roots to the 13th Century. What’s more, according to the Elmore Court website, it’s been in the hands of the same family since then.

In 2013, that family opened up Elmore Court for commercial operations. Things were going great, and it has proven a popular venue for weddings and special events.

But then… along came 2020 and the global pandemic.

Re-opening June 21

Now, as restrictions in the UK continue lifting, Elmore Court will get back to doing what it does best starting June 21. And so, the decision was made to highlight the venue with an FPV drone video. They pulled together a plan – and a pilot, producer, etc. – to produce a video that would truly highlight this spectacular location. Here’s more info from their news release:

By enlisting the support of their wedding suppliers, friends, family, as well as recruiting 30 wedding guest ‘extras’ through a public call out, Elmore managed to pull off the stunt over a the course of a few hours. It took a couple of practices before the final successful drone flight was achieved to everyone’s delight. The 150 second one-shot video uses the first person view (FPV) drone skills of experienced pilot Andy Lawrence who is otherwise kept busy shooting car stunts for Top Gear and The Grand Tour. The footage takes viewers on a journey exploring this picturesque rural location in south Gloucestershire, giving them a bird’s eye view as guests arrive, taking them through a series of intricate manoeuvres through the main house, the grounds, Gillyflower ballroom and kitchens of the estate.

Cool. Let’s see it!

Ask, and ye shall receive:

Soooooo well done. We particularly like the moment at 1:35 when the drone sets down on the serving platter. Smart. And, if you were really watching, you might have noticed a bit of soft bouncing from 1:12 to 1:30. That’s because one of the characters actually picked up the drone and walked it to that platter. They even built in a little turn to emulate that FPV style. (In case you were wondering, all COVID protocols were followed in the creation of this production.)

Great results

Drone pilot Andy Lawrence, obviously highly skilled, has some thoughts on carrying out this ambitious project:

This has to be one of the most fun and elaborate projects of my career yet. The challenge of flying the drone on a journey of 500 metres in and out of a building over 750 years old with walls over a metre thick in some places, has to be one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done.

And the owner of Elmore Court? Not surprisingly, Anselm Guise was also pretty pleased:

The main section of the film is a genuine one take flight with no camera tricks or CGI. In order to eliminate the buzzing of the drone we overlaid an audio track post-production to enable us to listen into some of the idiosyncrasies of the wedding party as they get ready alongside some bespoke music written by some good mates from the techno trance scene.

Cool.

Here we come

I love the UK and lived in London for a spell after graduating from journalism school. I still have friends in the UK. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make it back in the next year or two. And if I can swing it, I hope to build in a night or two at Elmore Court. I certainly can’t pilot like that…but I’m sure I’d enjoy just seeing the place.

Great video; congrats to all involved.

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