USA TODAY Drone – Back to the Future

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In Back to the Future: Part II, a camera drone hovers as the town’s bad guys are arrested, one of many prescient technology predictions in the 1989 movie.

The bulky drone in the movie, operated by USA TODAY, is equipped with cameras and antennas and bears little resemblance to the streamlined models operated by hobbyists today. “The classic cliché about any TV news or newspapers is, ‘Who’s on the scene first?’ ” says Bob Gale, who wrote the movie screenplay. “We knew about stringers. So we thought, OK, how crazy can we be here? What if we had the new stuff automated?” The movie’s director, Robert Zemeckis, “is the one who deserves the credit for coming up with the idea. We’d all hang out and spitball stuff.”

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