Setting the Record

Third grader Louisa Royer becomes the world’s youngest drone videographer

Evansville Day School's Primary School Head Robin Renschler and Louisa Royer

It’s quite an accomplishment for an eight-year-old to set a Guinness World Record. In May, Evansville Day School third-grader Louisa Royer was named the world’s youngest drone videographer.

A science enthusiast, Louisa requested a drone with picture and video capabilities for Christmas 2022 so she could see inaccessible plants and environments. Using the drone required practice and an online drone safety class with the Federal Aviation Administration, plus learning how to use video editing software.

“I really like being about to get close to stuff I couldn’t before, like a dangerous plant. I could getclose to it with a drone,” says Louisa, who specifically steers clear of poison ivy.

She films all around Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana, as well as on family trips and holidays. On an EDS-organized trip to Hungary and Romania, Louisa’s retired science teacher, Soi Powell, suggested she compile her best footage from the trip to submit to festivals. The resulting three-minute film, “Dangerous Plants,” uses footage from her DJI Mini 2, plus images of Louisa controlling the drone and segments of on-camera interviews with her.

Her parents, Mark and Allison Royer, helped her with the editing process, but the rest was all her.“Dangerous Plants” was one of 30 entries screened at the 2023 Thunderbird Drone Festival in Woodward, Oklahoma. The film then won the “Best New Pilot” award at the Arizona DroneFest Film Festival in October and was featured at the Bloomington, Indiana, International Film Festival this April.

Louisa, the Royers’ elder of two daughters, found Guinness World Records’ YouTube channel and videos of other drone-related world records. Applying to Guinness required that Louisa put together a professional-grade video, get it attested to by videographers, and win an award at an international film festival. Three months later came news that she had the world record in hand.

“I’m really impressed by the variety of films she makes. In a given month, she’ll do shots of her brother, Henry, playing basketball, historic buildings Downtown, and nature scenes from a boat,”Mark says.

Louisa aspires to one day become a scientist, but more immediately, she has her lens trained on submitting more of her films to festivals.

Tune into Louisa’s films on YouTube @lulutravelingtheworld5153