Video: Bassist Knocks Event Photographer’s Drone Out of the Air for No Good Reason

While filming a national skateboarding event in Detroit on Saturday, drone photographer Harry Arnold of Detroit Drone had his RC copter knocked out of the sky and broken by a punk rock bass player who decided to throw things at the UAV after finishing a song.

Arnold was hired to film the Zumies Best Foot Forward indoor skateboarding event by the event’s promoter, but apparently the promoter didn’t let the punk rock band Trash Talk know that this would be happening… or that it’s rude to break other people’s things.

Moments after his drone — which he designed and built himself from various kit and RC modeler parts — and GoPro took to the skies over the stage, bassist Spencer Pollard set his gear down and began chucking things at the drone, eventually knocking it out of the sky. As you can see in the video above, it lands with a rather cringe-inducing crunch.

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According to Arnold, the gimbal and GoPro are “trashed”, although that wasn’t his main concern at the time. “I’m just glad it didn’t fall in the crowd and hurt someone,” he writes in response to a comment on YouTube. “I was between the stage and crowd, and I was able to bring it down next to me.”

When we spoke to Arnold, he told us that the promoter who hired him has promised to pay for the damaged equipment, but since he doesn’t actually have a check in hand yet, he’s still just ‘hoping’ that they’ll do the right thing.

  • Alex

    wow, you have a seriously skewed sense of whats right and wrong in the world. I don’t think you’re capable of having a normal conversation, and I’d prefer to talk to rational people.

  • mitch

    I just want to mention, as I am a skateboarder myself, that this has nothing to do with skateboarding even though the article was written as so.

  • Alex

    I’m amazed at the sheer number of people who are so terrified of a drone that they’re willing to condone knocking it out of the sky to satisfy their own cowering fears.

    Replace ‘drone’ with anything else used to hold a camera-a jib/crane, a catwalk and a photographer, a piece of string, a magic arm and super clamps-and then ask if you’re suddenly justified it knocking it down because it’s there.

    Everything matters when you’re hired to do a job. The photographer had his job, the bassist has his. It wasn’t this assholes job to knock down cameras wherever he sees them, and judging by how far away the drone was, and the fact he had to throw multiple times, it sure wasn’t interfering with his job.

    And as my esteemed idiotic colleague ‘whatever dude’ notes, shoving a camera into someones face is a bad idea. unfortunately for him, he still can’t grab it and break it while hoping everyone will laugh.

    There is no ambiguity created other than the fact you want to pretend that a drone has suddenly changed privacy laws at a concert that would allow you to destroy gear that isn’t yours.

  • jerome h.

    You said it…you’re over sensitive and letting your emotions cloud rational thought.

  • Spig Mu

    He had the promoter’s permission to shoot the event but if the promoter didn’t clear what he’d be doing with the band first he was taking a chance leaving it circling during their set. If he did tell the band and they didn’t respond in the negative then the bassist was off base vandalizing it. But if he did not notify them beforehand that it would be hovering then no, the band isn’t bound to any agreement he made. When a band, even an unheard of punk band, plays a stage at an event like this there are contracts which protect both the band and promoter from being accused of not delivering on their agreed price and playing circumstances. If it was a well known rock band they would probably have done the same, or told him to stop, or walked off.

    My daughter just shot a major symphony orchestra and had her parameters all spelled out. The guest conductor arrived and said “WTF are you doing?! You can’t take pictures of me, and you can’t be anywhere near the stage”. So she couldn’t fulfill the shoot as specified. Different strata of performer, but same deal. If he told the photographer he could do it and it ended there he might owe money for the drone but the band doesn’t. We don’t really know from the article if the drone was disturbing the band or he just saw it as fair game, but I’d be interested in seeing how the drone looked from the stage, if it was distracting or not.

  • pandemon


  • Al Borrelli

    I’d agree if I agreed that this was a “tremendous risk”.. what’s that risk exactly?

  • Al Borrelli

    Do you know the venue didn’t tell them?

  • Al Borrelli

    When was the last time you saw a musician spending his time looking up.. it’s not as if the drone was in their line of sight (other than when it first went up) as far as I saw.

  • RockshowPics

    If the guy hired was a professional photographer than his gear should have been insured. Even though it was someone else’s fault, just like in a car accident, your insurance covers it and then goes after the other party. I think it was cool for the concert promoter to step up and offer to pay for it.

    This is also the reason I have promoters complete contracts prior to shooting a show. Things like this get legally covered under the contract.

  • lurendoesdisqus

    I understand needing money but just because you find a job for an okay amount of money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a closer look at the task.

  • Aaron Link

    …take a closer look at the task and what? Decide a third party will maliciously damage my property? A third party will create a dangerous environment by throwing glass bottles at the ceiling over the heads of the audience? The videographer was in control of his equipment until the dope started throwing things. This situation was created by the reckless actions of the bass player, not the videographer.