SOURCE: Theiss UAV Solutions

Theiss UAV Solutions

October 13, 2015 11:00 ET

President of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Company to Release Drone Movie

Community Collaborated Film "Rotor DR1" Slated for October 20 Release

NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH--(Marketwired - October 13, 2015) - Drone industry executive since 2010 and current president of Theiss UAV Solutions, Chad Kapper, has completed post-production on the feature film Rotor DR1. Rotor DR1 is a fictional film set in a post-apocalyptic world full of autonomous drones and features a sentient drone as one of the main characters. A recognized drone expert and enthusiast, Kapper developed Rotor DR1 with a community of drone hobbyists using a new filmmaking process called community collaborated entertainment.

"Our approach on Rotor DR1 was to develop a filmmaking technique using global community collaboration," said Kapper, Director and Executive Producer of Rotor DR1. "We proved the concept when we started Flite Test in 2010 and watched the online community heavily influence the YouTube channel and help build the company."

This experimental filmmaking process culminated in a sci fi feature film shaped by an unprecedented amount of audience input, with the community serving as a collective creative consultant. Throughout production, Kapper and his internal team listened to the community feedback, processed the input, then made decisions based on the influence of that input.

Collaborating with a drone community reinforced Kapper's desire to portray drones as technology that improves human lives. Throughout the film, audiences see drones delivering a vaccine to combat a deadly virus, as well as the growing relationship between protagonist Kitch, and his drone mentor, DR1. However, casting a drone as a main character is not without challenges.

"We knew we needed to give DR1 a personality," continued Kapper. "We discovered that even the smallest mannerisms helped transform DR1 from a machine into a relatable character. For example, we had DR1's camera follow other characters while they talked as if the camera were DR1's eyes."

As audiences watch the film, they see DR1 mature from an autonomous tricopter into a boy's best friend. Like Kitch, DR1's personality develops based on their shared experiences. Although DR1 is a machine, all of his reactions feel natural on screen, largely thanks to Kapper's decision to use real radio-controlled drones instead of CGI.

"Every drone seen in Rotor DR1 was a functioning copter flown by experienced pilots," said Kapper. "My expertise in radio-controlled aviation gave us the opportunity to use real drones flown by real pilots, which made the actors' interactions with the drones authentic."

Rotor DR1 was acquired by Burbank-based distributor Cinema Libre Studio in May, and will be the first drone community collaborated film released commercially in North America on October 20. For more information on Rotor DR1, visit For more information on Cinema Libre Studio, visit

Chad Kapper is the Director and Executive Producer of Rotor DR1. Recently named president of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company Theiss UAV Solutions Kapper discovered a dormant passion for radio controlled flight in 2010. The same year, Kapper started Flite Test, an online community for radio-controlled R/C aviation enthusiasts to share knowledge and common experiences with others. When Flite Test began, Kapper's day job was running StoneKap Productions, a high-end corporate video marketing company in North Canton, Ohio. The Flite Test community grew rapidly to over 350,000 users through biweekly videos, a dedicated forum, and community-generated articles about radio controlled aviation. Flite Test was designed to empower its audience, and since its inception has developed its YouTube show, website, content, and store products by listening and adjusting to community feedback. This unique development model has transformed Flite Test into one of the world's most trusted brands in R/C. Flite Test was acquired by Lauren International in 2014, enabling Chad to create his passion project Rotor DR1, his first film conceived as community collaborated entertainment.

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