It’s a given that you can film or photograph pretty anything and so long as Japan’s mightiest and most revered peak, Mount Fuji, serves as a backdrop, it will come out looking spectacular. After all, the snow-capped stratovolcano, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, has a reputation for being preternaturally photogenic. Fujisan’s majesty is, quite simply, beyond compare.
Tapping into the mountain’s iconic beauty and cultural significance, Tokyo-based ad platform company MicroAd has debuted Sky Magic, a “next generation entertainment” that pairs state-of-the-art audiovisual technology with a swarm of unmanned flying machines.
Translation: “Sky Magic” is a super-trippy light show — an aerial ballet, really — performed at the foot of Mount Fuji by 20 drones collectively outfitted with 16,500 LEDs. Driven by a pulsating dance beat, the musical accompaniment is provided by group of musicians in traditional dress strumming on shamisens, a three-string Japanese instrument dating back to the 16th century.
While this certainly isn’t the first time that drones have been programmed to perform a choreographed dance routine, the artistry and pure spectacle behind “Sky Magic” is like nothing that’s come before it. The combination of flickering light formations, evocative music and the commanding presence of Mount Fuji, captured in a dreamy half-light, is nothing short of dazzling.
Bravo dancing drones, bravo.
Lead by Tsuyoshi Takashiro, creative director of MicroAd and author of "Do Flying Androids Dream of Black Cats," it's unclear what's next for the Sky Magic drone squad.
A press release notes that, ideally, the glowing robo-orbs could be deployed to music festivals, sporting events and other large-scale productions that might traditionally feature fireworks as the featured aerial spectacle. The press release does not mention whether or not Takashiro's dancing drones do private parties in Brooklyn, New York, but, if so, I have a birthday coming up in six months. Just sayin'.