The Future Is Here
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This Dreamy Drone Tour Shows the Rebirth of Downtown Los Angeles

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Los Angeles's swiftly mutating downtown is usually viewed at street level. Now, thanks to filmmaker Ian Wood, we get a top-down perspective of the city's transformation in this gorgeous video, which he shot with a lightweight remote-controlled quadcopter and camera system. 20 stories up, there's change afoot as well.

With the stunning detail that only a drone can provide, the video sails ridiculously close to downtown's neon signage and theater marquees. From this angle, you can really see the push and pull of gentrification, from shined-up 1920s facades transformed into boutique hotels (that's the newly opened Ace with the white tower on top) to the block-long murals painted in the 90s to lively up nondescript warehouses.


If you're as inspired as I am by this work, Wood has some nice tips for fellow aerial photographers on how to shoot in dense downtown settings. Let's hope he takes another flight in a few years so we can compare notes on how much L.A. changes—again. [Vimeo via @atleykins]