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My favorite 2014 music video: hundreds of women with umbrellas filmed from a drone

A shot from the video shows hundreds of people holding up colored umbrellas.
A shot from the video shows hundreds of people holding up colored umbrellas.

One of the most ambitious videos of 2014 was this one, released in October to promote the group's new album:

The video, which is filmed as a single long take, starts out with the band in a warehouse dancing around on what look like electric unicycles. Then they scoot outside, and the drone-mounted camera zooms upwards. The viewer is treated to increasingly spectacular choreography involving dozens, then hundreds of women with colorful umbrellas.

One interesting thing about the video: it was filmed in Japan. That might be because drone laws here in the United States are a mess. While hobbyist drone use is allowed, commercial use (which the Federal Aviation Administration defines in a broad way that would likely include this video) requires a permit, and those aren't easy to get. The agency is supposed to draft new, more permissive regulations by next year, but it's behind schedule.

The video is a reminder that drone regulations aren't just an economic issue, but a potential free-speech issue as well. In the coming years, people will increasingly want to experiment with using drones to make art. They'll also be used for weightier purposes, like monitoring police conduct during protests. It's important that the law not give the government too much say over how they're used.

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