TIME's Drones Issue: Go Behind the Cover

May 31, 2018 6:21 AM EDT

To create the first TIME cover shot by a drone, we worked with Intel’s Drone Light Show team, Astraeus Aerial Cinema Systems and L.A. Drones—plus 958 drones set to display a precise shade of red, and another one to hold a camera in the air at just the right angle.

The result was one of the biggest drone shows ever produced in the U.S., so of course it drew some attention. One Folsom, Calif., resident interviewed by a local news reporter recounted, “Up in the sky, I saw the future.”

TIME Special Report: The Drone Era

Members of the Intel Shooting Star team test a few of their drones before a cover animation attempt on May 3, 2018 in Folsom, Calif.
Jake Stangel for TIME
Second Pilot Travis Samson and Pilot in Command Corey Gineris from Astraeus Aerial inspect the “Big Drone” used to shoot the cover video and image.
Jake Stangel for TIME
Second Pilot Travis Samson assists in flying the drone (pictured right).
Jake Stangel for TIME
D.W. Pine and Josh Raab from TIME review content on the screen.
Jake Stangel for TIME
More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.