That anti-drone equipment would be utilized by the entertainment industry definitely seems like stuff straight out of a spy thriller. Reportedly this just became a reality when HBO was apparently ready to shoot drones out of the skies to protect the story line of its Game of Thrones upcoming eighth season. HBO wanted to stop anybody from sneaking aerial photos during filming.
According to Sophie Turner—who plays Sansa Stark on the HBO drama—the production team deployed “drone killers” to disable any overhead camera. Because the production of ‘Game of Thrones’ has added roughly $200 million to the local economy in Belfast, the authorities are more than willing to work with the show in whatever manner it needs. That includes declaring shooting locations as “No Fly Zones.”
Earlier this year, The Los Angeles Times reported on the devices and how they have been used in significant law enforcement situations — such as for security reasons at the 2017 Rose Parade or “life-or-death” situations, as was the case during last December’s Lilac fire in San Diego where a drone prevented critical aerial firefighting.
The Los Angeles Times reports drone killers as devices used by the police “that can disable a drone in the sky and force it back to the ground.” It “looks like a gun” and “can be aimed like a rifle or a shotgun at a drone in the air. The 30-degree field of its beam and its range of almost half a mile make the target hard to miss.” According to Oceanside police Lt. Aaron Doyle “It won’t be used when someone complains about a neighbor flying a drone. It’s pretty much for a life-or-death situation, to save lives.” Sneaky drones don’t stand a chance.
HBO left no stone unturned in maintaining high secrecy about the Game of Thrones shooting. Right from feeding the actors lines through earpieces to filming a bunch of decoy endings, and reportedly even changing the show’s name to The Tree of Life during production to throw people off the scent. According to Sophie Turner and Entertainment Weekly reports, HBO was using more than fake names and endings to win the war on spoilers during production—it also had goddamn anti-drone guns to shoot spy cameras out of the skies. “If a drone flies above sets, there’s a thing that can kill the drones, which is really cool,” Turner told EW at New York Comic Con last weekend. “It creates a field around it and the drones just drop. It’s very X-Men.”
Reports from the EW point out the use of these “drone killer” weapons by police departments in the last few years to bring down the unmanned flying cameras when they get in the way of emergency situations or are wreaking havoc with a flamethrower which is a gun-like device just fires a beam that disable its controls and forces it back to earth.
Fortunately with all security and secrecy measures in place a very few photographs of the show got leaked.
We’ve reached out to HBO to glean more information on the counter-drone technology provider.