In early 2022 we were delighted to be commissioned by the Coventry City of Culture Trust to co-create an ambitious drone show that would mark the end of Coventry’s year as the City of Culture.
The result is Our Wilder Family, a nature-themed drone light display featuring the rich array of wildlife that calls Coventry and the Warwickshire countryside “home”.
Over the course of a groundbreaking 16-minute show, 360 drones take to the skies in two flights, while an eclectic combination of poetry, music and the words of school children accompany what is an epic celebration of our natural world.
The project was also filmed by multiple cameras and live-streamed online using 5G technology, enabling a truly global audience to enjoy the display and watch it live from different viewing angles.
With thousands joined together to look up to the skies and reconnect with the natural world through the unique medium of our drone art, we hope those watching Our Wilder Family will reflect on how they can enhance nature throughout the city of Coventry and beyond and ultimately feel empowered to make a difference.
We kickstarted the design process following a meeting with Celestial’s creative directors and the composers and lead poet on the project. After receiving the initial poetry written by local Coventry poets, and discussion with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, we set about writing a script for the drone show’s narrative.
The resulting light show is formed of five chaptered themes. The story showcases the beauty of Coventry and its surrounding wildlife, starting with the simple childhood memory of the most familiar of flowers, the dandelion, leading up to the crescendo moment in which the symbol of Coventry, the phoenix, soars above.
Celestial’s animation department set about designing the Coventry drone show, developing intricate movements and imagery in two and three dimensions with our customised software. The show features new, cutting edge techniques that enable Celestial to create new levels of complexity in the animation.
As with all of our light shows, we are always developing new ways to make our drone displays more intricate, replicating the captivating murmurations we often see in nature. We achieved just that in through mixing new methods of 3D model animation, mathematics and traditional keyframe methods.
Our Wilder Family is characterised by a mix of simplicity and complexity through traditional animation techniques enhanced by our innovative technology and software.
We are proud to have contributed to yet another unique moment at a monumental scale and that we continue to push the boundaries in the field of drone art.
Along with a big thanks to all the hard work put in by the Celestial team, we’d like to thank the many participants that contributed to bringing yet another drone light show with such a positive message to life and the Coventry City of Culture Trust for commissioning the project.
We hope you enjoy the show!
Watch more of our epic drone displays here.