- combine one part showplace and one part high-tech filming capabilities, and you end up with a lot of sheetmetal in a short amount of time.
- filmed in the classic auto mall in pennsylvania, this video shot by drone highlights vehicles from the mall’s collection of 1400 cars from the 1900s through the 1970s.
- it took videographer nick lang two days of preparation and plenty of drone-flying practice to make a video this smooth.
hardly anybody can wander through an abandoned mall full of classic automobiles, especially now. but if you want to start making a to-do list for when it's safe to head out again, perhaps this video will give you a reason to add a stop in morgantown, pennsylvania, about an hour west of philadelphia. between now and then, if you have three and a half minutes to spare, you can whet your appetite with this video and fly along with the drone as it scampers from room to room.
the space the classic auto mall occupies was a shopping mall from 1985 until 2011. it's now 336,000 square feet of climate-controlled space with a capacity for 1400 cars. currently, there are around 1000 vehicles for sale at the mall alongside around 400 barn finds on display. the classic auto mall runs a consignment program for classic-car owners to store and, with any luck, sell their vehicles.
that all makes for a lot of vehicles to see in one day, much less three minutes, but thanks to nick lang's expert drone piloting, you can get a quick glimpse of many of them without leaving your home. lang told car and driver that this fly-through video grew out of a his production company made for the mall recently. for that assignment, he spent two days flying a mavic 2 pro drone as well as using a ground camera with a gimbal, and that let him know what was possible. so, when he went to shoot the longer fly-through with his shendrones geyser drone, he felt prepared.
lang told c/d that positioned himself inside a vehicle in the center circle of the mall in order to have an even distance to the farthest points in the building, about 400 feet away. lang said the geyser is about the size of a soccer ball, and the dji first person view goggles he used allowed him to experience the flight in real time and make decisions about when he could fly through some of the vehicles and when to turn in flight.
"i actually did not fly through a ton of small gaps like my usual fly-throughs, because i did not want any chance of crashing and damaging a car," he said. "i knew that i had to keep a consistent speed throughout the video, too, so i focused more on keeping it nice and smooth instead of shocking people by flying through tons of car windows."
while lang has uploaded a number of fly-through videos to his youtube channel, this was the largest interior space he's ever filmed a fly-through in, and it presented some special challenges, he said.
"since there were so many iconic cars in each room, i decided to pick the best path that would cover the majority of the cars instead of selecting a few that i really wanted to highlight," he said. "i'm not even sure if my favorite car made it into the edit because i could not physically fly in every single room because of the limitations of the drone’s batteries."
you don't want to miss the bmw isetta microcar you can see at 2:53, but lang said his personal favorite vehicle in the collection is the 1990 range rover that's for sale for $13,999. "it definitely was not the rarest or most expensive car there, but i saw it as a great production vehicle to carry all of my gear in and i really liked its blacked-out exterior," he said.