Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Alessandro Neri, 30 years old, lives in the area called Talente (between San Casciano and Cerbaia), works in the bookselling business, and has a school of Caribbean dancing.

“But, lately”, he says, telling us about the passion that transformed him into…”the flying tourist,” “I invest much of my time in the piloting of drones”.

So much so that he has created a sort of alter ego which he puts on his website of splendid videos created with his drone. “I have also always had a passion for photography”, says Alessandro, “but more than anything, for videos. But I was never able to express myself for lack of knowledge regarding montage and filmmaking. I was lucky to have the possibility of taking lessons from a friend, Francesco, (whom I thank), which enabled me to begin to film”.

Why drones? “At the same time”, he continues, “I wanted to take unusual types of shots and to offer them to YouTube followers. I came upon some videos made with drones and a light bulb lit up. Before I started, I looked for videos similar to the ones I wanted to shoot on YouTube. I wanted to find the standard methods to film with drones. But I didn’t find anyone who dedicated himself to cataloguing places,. So I had to invent my own way to film, and fortunately people like it”.

We ask if there are particular restrictions in using these flying movie cameras: “Before I began, I learned about the rules, which, however, are still confusing because this is a new branch of legislature, and until now there hasn’t been a case of inappropriate or offensive use. And if you make amateur flights like the ones that I do, there are fewer rules in respect to those that there are for the use of drones at a professional level: shipbuilding, projects, cartography. I believe however, that the first rule is good sense, and the second is to respect people and things. I often say that to make the flights that I do, you need a lot of practice, and it is true”.

In other words, there is no improvisation. “I practice almost every day. The problem is not landing the drone but facing eventual problems; to come to know the machine and to know how to prevent accidents, to organize the itinerary and land without problems, both at the end and in case of problems during the trip. Personally, I have given myself rules to fly which make our filming 100% secure.”

He tells us that “For now I have filmed only a few videos (I will show you all of them during the month of August on WeChianti). I still don’t have a favorite. Each video has its own story. I remember the embarrassment I felt when I filmed the first one. It was the first time that I stood in front of the camera to tell about what I was doing. Or the satisfaction I felt when I was able to film the trail that goes to the “Mulinaccio di Scandicci”, where I flew at the height of a man in the forest among branches and tree trunks. Perhaps I will have a favorite after filming some more, but for the moment, no”.

We end by asking him if there is someplace that he would like to immortalize with his drone. “There are many. I have a long list which I hope to make even longer with advice of those who follow my videos, and who would like to see a favorite place from above. Surely, for the moment I will not fly in the city, because I believe that small towns like ours have enough splendid places to film. And it is right to see them from another perspective.”

Matteo Pucci