Look! Up in the sky! It wasn’t Superman, but New Yorkers did spot what looked like three people flying around Manhattan recently. But they weren’t real people. They were radio-controlled planes made to look like humans soaring around the city. If you didn’t witness the awesome spectacle in person, you can see it on a YouTube video released just this morning by thinkmodo, the viral marketing agency behind the stunt designed to promote the February 3 release of Chronicle.
Produced by 20th Century Fox, the feature film finds three teenagers suddenly enabled with superpowers, including the ability to fly, so thinkmodo cofounders James Percelay and Michael Krivicka concocted a scheme to send three realistic-looking people soaring around Manhattan to get some attention for the film. “I think to be successful in what we do you have to come up with something that nobody else has done before, and nobody has ever flown three people around Manhattan,” Percelay says, noting the aerial ballet of sorts was something to see. “When we flew them high enough, and they were backlit by the sky, the planes looked like human beings.”
So did anyone who saw this flight of fancy from the ground get freaked out? “How do I answer that? Can I say no comment?” Percelay asks. “I think that actually would be a good answer.” Percelay does stress that professional radio-control operators were hired to operate the flying people, and they spent a lot of time practicing to ensure they could do so safely.
One has to ask: Why was this viral video shot in New York City? Chronicle is set in Seattle, after all–you see one of the kids flying by the Space Needle in the movie poster. According to Percelay, the original intention was to have the flying people zoom above Seattle but bad weather forced thinkmodo to re-route them to Manhattan as well as Long Island.
And we haven’t seen the last of these flying people, by the way. If you live or work in the tri-state area, keep your eyes peeled to the skies in the coming days. “There are a few more surprise flights coming up,” Percelay says.