DALLAS, Texas - Dallas residents experienced one of the most elaborate rick-rolls of all time on April Fool's Day.
Sky Elements Drone Shows created a QR code drone display that flew over the Downtown Dallas night sky. When those in the area scanned the illuminated code with their phone, it would bring them to the infamous music video for Rick Astley's song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.'
Preston Ward, Sky Elements Drone Shows Chief Pilot and General Counsel said drone shows are meticulously planned, and all are designed in 3D animation software. The prank drone show was flown from the Reunion Tower to get the best shot of Dallas. The area is in Love Field's controlled airspace, so the team had to get approved to fly in that airspace prior to the show, according to Ward.
Local FAA offices were also made aware of the show before it went on.
"Brian and Lito, who manage our design and animation team, always knock it out of the park with show design. This particular show took a few hours for the team to put together since it was just one animation," Ward said.
According to Ward, the team enjoys taking time to create something fun and different from the shows they usually produce. The group produced a QR code drone show in Austin during SXSW just weeks ago. The activation was for the new Halo TV series, and after that successful event, Sky Elements' social media manager suggested doing something for April Fools.
"I wasn’t totally convinced right away that was the direction to go until my 8-year-old niece Rick Rolled me a few days later," Ward said. "That’s when I knew we had to push the idea further."
Ward says the whole Sky Elements team are jokesters at heart, and they loved the positive feedback and giving everyone a good laugh.
"Now we just have to figure out what to do next year to outdo this year’s prank," Ward said.
One of the team's favorite reactions to the prank was from someone scanning the code inside a Dallas highrise. After realizing the joke, laughter ensues.
If you are wondering where you can see another one of Sky Elements' drone shows, the company usually does private events which do not get posted online for public viewing. However, the team will be doing two public shows for MLB games. One will be on April 29th for the Oakland A's, and the next is on April 30th for the Kansas City Royals.
To learn more about Sky Elements Drone Shows, click here.