Rotor DR1 was conceived and evolved out of the Flite Test (flitetest.com) community, a 400,000 member strong online community for drone enthusiasts that director/producer Chad Kapper founded in 2010. Posting the idea of creating a community-collaborated web series to the forum, he soon had input from 7000 people.
Using forums, GoogleDocs, Facebook and Youtube--and without a script--the group embarked on developing a ten episode series over twelve weeks in late 2014, with each episode shared with the Rotor DR1 community for feedback and further development of the story line. Decisions on casting, wardrobe, props, dialogue, action scenes, the episodic arc and the backstory of the virus that wipes out civilization, were made in collaboration.

David Windestål (Drone Hunter/Creative Producer) is the creator of RCExplorer.se. Windestål lives in Sweden. He’s always been fascinated with all things that fly, and has since realized his boyhood dream of flying RC planes, which he operated on set for Rotor DR1 as well as playing the 'Drone Hunter' character. Follow the Film on Social Media: Website: http://www.rotordr1.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rotordr1 RC Explorer: RCExplorer.se Twitter: https://twitter.com/RotorDR1 Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9o6nWNu38SRdBYPlPcdTpA Cinema Libre Studio: www.cinemalibrestudio.com Purchase the Film on DVD or BLU: http://store.cinemalibrestore.com/rotor-dr1-dvd.html http://store.cinemalibrestore.com/rotor-dr1-blu-ray.html

My Proof https://www.facebook.com/rotordr1

THANK YOU GUYS! - We loved talking to you and discussing the movie, drones and Flite test! We are all done for now but appreciate all our friends, family and fans joining us for another community based event! If you haven't seen the movie, its available on HULU in the US and DVD/BLU on region free discs that will play around the world!

Comments: 94 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

jezmck3 karma

Why did it take me so long to notice "DR 1" is "DR ONE"?!

edit to shamelessly plug /r/Multicopter :)

rotordr1movie2 karma

Don't feel bad... everyone else is in the same boat ;) -Chad

rotordr1movie2 karma

Yes Chad was pretty clever with that :D /David

wittpilot3 karma

Was there any aspect of the film that you thought came across better in the YouTube show version, versus the final feature film? -adam

rotordr1movie3 karma

The overall pacing worked better as an episodic with cliffhanger endings. But the refinement and polish the movie has is nice too. -Chad

rotordr1movie3 karma

Yeah cliffhanger endings and the cool openings /David

Mjpilot2 karma

What is the current firmware for the mini tricopter?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Triflight 0.3 RC2. Check the development thread on the forums ;) /David

jezmck2 karma

Did you learn anything about multicopters generally while producing the episodes? Would you design DR1 any differently in hindsight?

rotordr1movie2 karma

After 4 years of Flite Test and RC Explorer, David and I had quite a bit of experience designing, building and flying. I'm sure we learned something... just not sure I remember :) -Chad

rotordr1movie4 karma

Yeah don't touch the spinning bits /David

lizlemonnightcheese2 karma

At what point in the process did it become apparent that the bounty hunter played by the Hunger Games tribute would have to be cut?

He added a fun arc to the series and I would think that film credit would help get audience attention?

rotordr1movie3 karma

It was during the edit of the feature. All the episodes together totaled about 2 hours and 40 minutes. His character was underdeveloped and we had to cut about an hour of content anyhow. -Chad

rotordr1movie3 karma

There was just way to much material for a movie. The Jax character needed more space to feel complete which would have lead to other things being cut. /David

Mjpilot2 karma

When will the dr1 parts come out?

Rotorfan12 karma

When is Rotor 2? There were a lot of promises made about a sequel at the end of the film/series.

rotordr1movie2 karma

There are a lot of options. My favorite is the DR1 Chronicles. This would be an on-going episodic series right after DR1 starts his quest to find Kitch.

Rotorfan12 karma

What's DR1 Chronicles?

rotordr1movie1 karma

It would be a continuation of the franchise by creating another series featuring DR1 as the main character.

-Chad

emmroper2 karma

What can we do as community members to continue our support for DR1 besides buying the movie?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Share the word :) /David

Lguystillfly2 karma

Are there any future plans for another community-oriented project similar to Rotor DR1?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Yes... loose plans. We're waiting to see how this does over the next couple months. -Chad

GaryMortimer2 karma

Are you too early with this movie? Are folks not in the fold as it were not ready for it??? Well done BTW love your work chaps.

rotordr1movie2 karma

I think, maybe... But maybe we're right on time. I truly believe this is the next step for entertainment. I'm curious, what made you ask that question? -Chad

GaryMortimer2 karma

Well because of all the current anti feeling and lack of understanding. You guys really get it and are ahead of the crowd. Perhaps that means folks will come to understand it better...

rotordr1movie1 karma

We're hoping the whole DR1 community can help people understand another perspective.

-Chad

rotordr1movie2 karma

Perhaps. I think Chad really had a fantastic idea with community collaborated entertainment. Only time will tell :) /David

mak8tack2 karma

Was the community driven nature considered a success for you? Would you change the approach in your next project? How would you differentiate the next project from DR1 if the feedback follows a similar theme?

rotordr1movie3 karma

Absolutely! It's not perfect, but we did something special that worked. I would change about 30-40% of the process, but I'm proud of a lot of things that worked out well. I like the idea of an on-going episodic without an end. -Chad

rotordr1movie3 karma

I think community developed entertainment is going to become mainstream within a couple of years. It's rough now in the beginning but I really think there is a lot of good quality entertainment to be found in that mine. /David

ShizukaNaHaji2 karma

Hi All,

First off Chad are you still involved in flitetest? If so, please make it good again. It has been awful lately. Secondly, why was the rotor dr1 story line so poor?

Thanks Sam

rotordr1movie1 karma

Well, thanks for your candor Sam! I think Flite Test is quite good... But we're always listening for improvements.

To answer the question about the story line, it would help to know what you didn't like about it.

-Chad

Rotorfan11 karma

I agree that the story was lacking. How could it have been better?

rotordr1movie1 karma

I was pretty amazed how well things did end up in the end considering that we didn't know where the story was going. Taking in community feedback and forming new story lines after each episode was awesome but also a bit disorientating at times. The story is usually the first thing to be locked down before production starts. Here it was the opposite each day. /David

rotordr1movie1 karma

What bothered you most about the story?

Leslieknopewyatt11 karma

I thought Rotor had a great classic storyline of a boy growing up while setting off on this big adventure! it just happened to involve plagues and drones, which is even cooler.

Chad if you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to see the rotor story go? Bigger cities? more drones? a war between survivors?

rotordr1movie2 karma

This is easy... More custom drones with serious action sequences that don't have any CGI!

Originally I wanted to do a movie with only drones.

whidzee2 karma

Hey Chad and David, Will you guys be interested in attending the NAFPV event next year?

rotordr1movie2 karma

When is it? Would love to get out of the house ;) /David

rotordr1movie2 karma

Possibly... Just need to see what the schedule looks like :) -Chad

Rex_G2 karma

My question is for David, do you plan to make a working replica of your anti drone gun?

rotordr1movie2 karma

No direct plans for it. I've seen quite a few commercial versions released recently though :) /David

emmroper2 karma

What has surprised you most if anything about the community members?

rotordr1movie1 karma

Their vastly different ideas an imagination that were so diverse yet in the same direction. /David

rotordr1movie1 karma

How dog-gone talented everyone is. There are people that never thought about being a filmmaker, that helped out tremendously with their creativity.

Elizabeth Roper submitted a poem that inspired the song Maya sings on the bus. I'm so proud of that little scene. It really shows what can happen when creative people don't let ego drive what happens.

-Chad

emmroper2 karma

Now that the film has been released will we be seeing Rotor DR1 merchandise on the market?

rotordr1movie1 karma

Completely depends on the success of the movie. We would love for this to become the first community developed franchise!!

-Chad

rotordr1movie1 karma

Ooo I want to hear the answer to this one as well! Would love a little Kitch bubble head figure :D Or an PowerCell /David

mak8tack2 karma

Are there any easter-eggs in the episodes or the movie that Chad or David might care to elaborate on? I'm not particularly good at egg hunting, so I'm really just curious with this question.

rotordr1movie2 karma

The F4F Wildcat is in Kitch's hideout. This is the very first plane reviewed on Flite Test. I'm not sure anyone has ever pointed it out.

-Chad

rotordr1movie2 karma

The cake is a lie is quite visible during the house scene. It's from the amazing game "portal". The hitch hickers guide to the galaxy reference - fantastic book series. The old school gaming platforms that Christian really owns and plays. /David

rotordr1movie2 karma

Also another good story, not really an easter egg but anyway, The gameboy Kitch and Maya plays at the closing scene was actually found while Chad and I scouted the abandoned house the kids stay in (where Jax show up) The gameboy was just laying there in a room. Felt appropriate to use it in the show :) /David

RESERVA422 karma

How much was flitetest involved in the process? Do you two ever imagine returning to the show as guests?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Not as much as we would have liked. The problem was scheduling was so difficult. Flite Test has become quite popular and they don't have much time for responsibilities outside of the FT community. I'm sure you'll see one of us on the show soon ;)

-Chad

TonyTurtle2 karma

What was your favorite community suggestion that made it into the film?

rotordr1movie3 karma

My favorite suggestion was drone racing! I love that our community predicted something over a year ago that people are just starting to notice today!

BTW this article/video just came out today... http://www.pcworld.com/article/2997557/consumer-electronics/first-person-view-drone-racing-five-essential-tips-for-beginning-pilots.html

-Chad

rotordr1movie3 karma

Same here. Drone racing :) /David

GaryMortimer1 karma

Point of order, we have been real drone racing at DIY Drones for years. Since 2009 in fact http://diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A91103

rotordr1movie1 karma

Sorry, I didn't express the point clearly... The mass public's awareness of drone racing.

rotordr1movie2 karma

I also liked the role of Maya being added. Originally it was imagined as just Kitch and DR1.

emmroper2 karma

What was the most difficult decision you had to make during to whole movie making experience?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Cutting out Bruno Gunn's character. He is an awesome actor with great screen presence! His character was underdeveloped and we had to make the choice to cut him or shoot more AND cut other stuff. -Chad

jezmck2 karma

What's the best DR1 replica you've seen since releasing the 3D models for printing?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Was trying to find Mike's one as well, glad you had it on hand :D /David

Rotorfan12 karma

In terms of the story, what do you think could have been executed better?

rotordr1movie2 karma

I would have liked to add more depth to the characters. Since they were being developed as we went along, we didn't have a strong backstory for supporting characters. I think it would be great to remake the whole thing on a $20M budget!

-Chad

Leslieknopewyatt11 karma

David how did you get involved with Chad and the film from all the way overseas?

What are you working on now?

rotordr1movie3 karma

Chad and I go way back. We started sending emails back and forth shortly after I started RCExplorer. Chad asked for some setup suggestions for his FPV Twinstar. Then he started FliteTest and asked if I wanted to come over and visit. After that I visited again and then worked there for 18 months. Chad had ideas for the movie during that time and brought me over again 1 week after the shooting of DR1 started. Now, I live in Sweden working with RCExplorer. Selling and designing tricopters mainly. /David

rotordr1movie2 karma

I'll get this one David... It's because he thinks I'm the most talented and humble man in the whole world. -Chad

rotordr1movie2 karma

Nice one Chad ;) /David

pegasusthebicycle1 karma

How was it working with the drones? Were there extras on hand in case one broke or wasn't working properly?

rotordr1movie2 karma

We usually had 3 RotorDR1's with us during a normal shoot day. 2 that could fly and one that was a "stunt double" (used when DR1 needed to crash or harsly handled) It's always a bit nerve-wracking having a spinning blender as an actor but Eric the pilot handled it well /David

rotordr1movie2 karma

DR1 didn't actually malfunction that often. It was more a hassle to keep changing batteries and keeping them charged. The flight time was reasonably considering the weight, but when you film a scene they seem to go very quick /David

lizlemonnightcheese1 karma

What made you guys go into sci-fi apocalypse stories with the drones? Was there a reason why you didn't go modern comedy or drama or something easier to work with on an indie budget?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Aside from it being a popular genre, it was my personal preference. -Chad

rotordr1movie2 karma

Chad had the idea for the movie a long time. I think it was the idea of the move that came first and then the budget. Rather than fitting the movie into a budget. Correct me if I'm wrong Chad /David

lizlemonnightcheese1 karma

Will you be taking as much community feedback for the sequel if and when it gets going?

rotordr1movie2 karma

Yes!! We loved the feedback... if anything, we want more! -Chad

Mjpilot1 karma

@david. Hi David. I was wondering if blheli suit. Works on Mac? I have spent dome time on it now and have failed. Also, can you update the ESC through cleanflight? Tricopter #28 limited edition .

rotordr1movie1 karma

No, not without a virtual windows environment. No not through cleanflight. /David