Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  13 minutes
Date:  2014
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
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Drones In My Backyard

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How comfortable should Americans be with the growing use of drones by all segments of society?

Drones In My Backyard

DRONES IN MY BACKYARD is a funny and scary video mash-up about the coming of aerial drones to the United States.

One day a drone appears in the filmmaker's backyard, hovering over his head. It's the catalyst for an extended meditation and free association on the presence of drones in war-making, the role of drones in surveillance, and the thrill of flying when you put on goggles to see what the drone sees.

Whether it's the Predator, the Argus, or cute little Hummingbirds, drones of all shapes and sizes are flying to a rock and roll beat. We see them following us...and listen to the incessant buzzing of cameras overhead.

'Drones In My Backyard does a spectacular job of exploring the implications of drones entering our domestic air space by 2015. It asks all the right questions, presenting perspectives of those in Gaza and Pakistan who live with the buzz of drones daily, as do the directors who wonder about the loss of their individual privacy as drones hover in their backyard...The film conflates this footage with positive uses for drones - hobbyists playing, juggling drones, farmers monitoring crops, environmentalists watching for proper care of rivers and forests - and we are presented with a compelling aerial vision: A vision that suggests, while we may have a flyby view of the Statue of Liberty, we are also set to lose more liberty as drones enter our domestic airspace invading our every privacy.' Ken Rinaldo, Professor and Director, Art and Technology Program, The Ohio State University, Director of Emergent Systems

'Whether constructed for recreation, surveillance, law enforcement or for subject elimination, drones have become a topic evoking an even greater range of emotion and responses. This DVD describes in a masterful way the diversity of sizes, construction materials, designs and purposes for these machines...Whether the drones evoke fear, wonder, or hope, this DVD provides the viewer with not only information about them but poses questions that allows for further probing on one's own views about what glides, soars and or hovers above us. Drones in My Backyard is a concise but revealing overview of this continuing emerging form of technology.' Marylin Lisowski, Eastern Illinois University, Science Books and Films

'A good...introduction to key issues concerning the advent of military and civil Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known by the public as drones. The adverse consequences of UAVs are emphasized over the benefits.' Dr. Robert Finkelstein, President, Robotic Technology Inc., Collegiate Professor of Management and Technology, Director, Intelligent Systems Laboratory, University of Maryland

'An unforgettable short film that beautifully captures an increasingly surreal aspect of the twenty-first century, Drones in My Backyard is highly recommended.' The Midwest Book Review

'[The filmmaker] uses original interviews and footage, spliced together with clips from PBS, the Israeli Army, YouTube, and other sources to demonstrate the potential uses of drones...With a playing time of 13 minutes, robotics or government classes would have ample discussion time for practical or ethical issues, and budding engineers could consider positive and negative possibilities before assembling any unmanned aerial vehicles.' Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, School Library Journal

'A solid, short overview of a hot topic...This is recommended.' T. Keogh, Video Librarian

'Snitow's sighting of a neighbor's drone in his supposedly private backyard leads to a musing on drone technology's growing ubiquity. How comfortable should Americans be with current uses of unmanned aerial vehicles?' Peter Wong, BeyondChron.org


Silver Chris Award, Columbus International Film+Video Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford
Dallas VideoFest
Science Books and Films Best Videos of 2014


Main credits

Snitow, Alan (film producer)
Snitow, Alan (film director)
Snitow, Alan (film editor)
Snitow, Alan (screenwriter)
Snitow, Alan (narrator)
Kaufman, Deborah (film producer)

Distributor credits

Alan Snitow, Deborah Kaufman

Alan Snitow

Alan Snitow, Deborah Kaufman
Alan Snitow
Written and Edited by Alan Snitow
Produced by Snitow-Kaufman Productions

Docuseek2 subjects

American Studies
War and Peace
Law Enforcement
Social Psychology
Social Aspects

Distributor subjects

American Democracy
American Studies
Law Enforcement
Science, Technology, Society
Social Psychology
War and Peace


drones, UAV, drones in warmaking, drones in surveillance, Predator, Argus, Hummingbirds, privacy, aerial, military; "Drones In My Backyard"; Bullfrog Films

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