This Dreamy Drone Tour Shows The Rebirth Of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles’s swiftly mutating downtown district is usually viewed at street level. Now, thanks to filmmaker Ian Wood, we get a top-down perspective of the city’s transformation in this gorgeous video, which he shot with a lightweight remote-controlled quadcopter and camera system. 20 stories up, there’s change afoot as well.

With the stunning detail that only a drone can provide, the video sails ridiculously close to downtown’s neon signage and theatre marquees. From this angle, you can really see the push and pull of gentrification, from shined-up 1920s facades transformed into boutique hotels (that’s the newly opened Ace with the white tower on top) to the block-long murals painted in the ’90s to lively up nondescript warehouses.

If you’re as inspired as I am by this work, Wood has some nice tips for fellow aerial photographers on how to shoot in dense downtown settings. Let’s hope he takes another flight in a few years, so we can compare notes on how much L.A. changes — again. [Vimeo via @atleykins]