Are flying insect drones with nano-cameras on their heads a long-distant fantasy? How long do we have to wait before this is a reality or does this technology exist today? If such technology were available to us, how would we manipulate it?
Flyspy is a short film by BAFTA-winning director Dan Smith, featuring robot-insect-drones designed by the concept artist on the Star Wars films, which explores such questions.
Flyspy is about a young genius deviant who uses a radio-controlled drone fly with micro-cameras as eyes to spy on his ex-girlfriend, only to open a whole Pandora’s box of trouble for himself!
FlySpy is a dark, short-film about a young, genius deviant called Greg, who has made a wirelessly controlled robot drone in the form of a fly, with a camera in its head. Everything the fly can see, Greg can see through a virtual reality headset.
He is deeply obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Haley and so what does he do? Of course, he secretly flies the fly in to her house through an air vent so he can spy on her without her knowing.
Now, with Haley completely unaware, Greg can watch her most intimate moments through the fly’s camera eyes.
His obsession is all consuming. Greg is typing everything Haley and her new boyfriend say into detailed transcriptions.
But Greg witnesses something he wasn’t expecting. Haley’s relationship with her new boyfriend is poisonous. She is emotionally and psychologically trapped and being abused by him.
But Greg doesn’t do the right thing and help Haley sort things out, instead he coerces her in to making a pact: if she sleeps with him one more time he will get rid of her abusive boyfriend forever.
From the outside it seems Haley is the victim in all of this, trapped between two less-than-ideal suitors, but that turns out not to be the case. Without giving too much away Haley matches them both for cunning and deceit and exacts some serious revenge on both of the guys but we can say there will be a radio-controlled robot-drone-WASP involved!
DIRECTOR – DAN SMITH
FLYSPY is the brainchild of director Dan Smith who, after a 14-year career as an editor, recently won a BAFTA directing David Attenborough’s NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ALIVE. The film also won multiple ‘Wildscreen’ Awards, ‘The Jackson Festival’ Award, a ‘TVB’ Award and an ‘AIB’ Award as well as being nominated for numerous others including a ‘Grierson’. Dan operates at the cutting edge of technology typically with highly complex CGI, 3D and 4K. The Museum Alive film was the first to be delivered to a broadcaster in 3D and 4K and so we are excited and proud to be supporting him.
Previous to this Dan worked his way up through the ranks fairly quickly to become an editor by the age of 22. Over the past 14 years he edited numerous documentaries for BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4, ITV, SKY and Discovery, short films, music videos, commercials, virals and hundreds of promos and trailers. He always directed alongside editing and directed comedy for E4, loads of music videos and various short films. He had promo of the week in Promo magazine, his short film THE BEST MEDICINE was shortlisted for the ‘Virgin Media Shorts’ award and his other short film GHERKINS is about to start being screened in various festivals. He’s also shot a 3D horror film but that is behind closed doors until it hits the festivals.
CONCEPT ARTIST – JAKE LUNT
Jake has been working in commercials, TV, film, videogames and events since 1994 – as a Production Designer, Conceptual Artist, Storyboard Artist and Character Designer. After gaining a degree in Graphic Design at Middlesex University, Jake started as a runner in TV, working his way up to Art Directing commercials and promos. Along the way he also began storyboarding for the directors and was working with as well as providing visuals to other designers. This in turn led him to producing visuals and storyboards for advertising agencies, PR companies and events designers.
In 2007 Jake directed an animated viral ad for Samsung. This went on to get over 10 million views and win him a D&AD Yellow Pencil and a Cannes Cyber Lion. Jake most recently became known for being a concept artist working on STAR WARS VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS – you may recognise his ball–droid design which was featured in the recent trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE. Jake is signing original artwork of his designs which have proved popular on Kickstarter so far.
WRITER – SIMON HEWITT
Simon earned a 1st-class honours degree in screenwriting and now has several feature-film projects in development. He has also recently been selected for this year’s iFeatures scheme with his feature script WHITE COLLARS. For television, Simon has also had three sitcom spec scripts optioned – two with Cowboy Films and one with Carnival Films & Television. He was also commissioned to write the pilot for the upcoming comic-strip adaptation FISH HEAD STEVE for Random House Children’s Screen Entertainment, and has earned a number of commissions to write for BBC Radio. Simon also reached the final of Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year in 2011 and was a Cordelia finalist in the Bluecat Screenwriting Competition in 2013.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHER – XAVIER AMORÓS
Xavier is a London based cinematographer, originally from Barcelona. He received his BA in photography from Barcelona University and later continued his studies in cinematography at the National Film and Television School in the UK. Over the past several years, he has worked on numerous commercials, feature films, documentaries, TV productions, music promos and art films in the UK and internationally. Projects have included work for Channel 4, BBC, ITV, SKY, Tate Modern Media, Endemol, Somesuch & Co, Hobby Factory, Steelmill and 2AM amount others. Xavier worked as a 2nd Unit cinematographer in the British film SONG FOR MARION directed by Paul Andrew Williams, which featured a stellar cast including Vanessa Redgrave, Terence Stamp and Gemma Arterton. The film was nominated for the British Independent Film Awards and screened at both The London Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival. Xavier has also shot the short film THE BEST MEDICINE with director Dan Smith – which was nominated for the Virgin Media Awards 2012, Dog Boy Short and screened in the London Short Film Festival, SILENCE AT THE SONGS END which was Silver Ace Award winner at the 2010 Las Vegas Film Festival.
VISUAL EFFECTS COMPANY – JELLYFISH
The BAFTA-winning JELLYFISH, one of the top VFX companies in the UK, are providing us with amazing CGI robot-insects for our film. Jellyfish have worked on productions like KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, DRACULA and DR WHO.
POST-PRODUCTION – HALO
The post-production house HALO who have worked on films like PADDINGTON, LES MISERABLES and MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM amongst others have kindly agreed to cover all our post-production work.
PRODUCTION COMPANY – FLAT CAP FILMS
Flat Cap Films are based in west London and pride themselves on working and supporting some of the UK’s finest talent whether it be through music videos, commercials, documentaries or film. In line with every company involved on this exciting project Flat Cap Films are offering their services free of charge. Flat Cap Films are very excited to be working alongside an exciting and talented director in Dan Smith and look forward to delivering the world a fine piece of entertainment involving some of the country’s most talented filmmakers.
FLYSPY peers into our not-too-distant future – a world where flying insect drones spy on people through nano-camera eyes while transmitting images and sound into virtual reality (VR) headsets. Some of this technology is available today – various companies have produced first and second generation VR headsets and there are indications that the military and security establishment are manufacturing early prototypes of insect drones for use in spying and warfare.
In FLYSPY, the VR headset is being supplied by a well-known company and we’re currently in negotiations with various brands – more news on this soon!
The wasp featured in FLYSPY will be physically made by a brilliant model maker called Aidan Campbell who specialises in miniature models. Jellyfish have built the basic model of our wasp in 3D software based on the designs by Jake Lunt just like they would if it was 100% CGI. These designs are very early in evolution where the final versions will be very sophisticated: a “photo-real” wasp nano-robot. The wasp will then be 3D printed in 5 different parts on a super high-resolution 3D printer. Aidan will then paint those parts, add details and assemble, ready for filming. Several of these wasps will be produced. One version will be a normal wasp-size for the shots in which the wasp is seen in the actor’s hand. Another version will be a 3D-sized wasp for the close-up shots.
These models will all be for pre-sale before we shoot as part of the “rewards” to help fund the film (see Kickstarter page below). There will be several of each size for filming purposes and we will also be making limited edition replicas. On top of all of this, we’re looking to film virtual reality footage/270 degree video from the perspective of the wasp and fly which is cutting-edge filming at the moment.
FLYSPY – KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Sunday 1 March 2015 saw the launch of the KICKSTARTER campaign to bring FLYSPY to life.
Please follow the link below – contribute and share:
This a story that needs to be told – and we intend to tell it in an unforgettable way – the future is upon us, and we need to be prepared – so please help!
For any further information or to interview any members of our team please contact us:
30 Western Avenue
London W3 7TZ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8740 8243