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Setting the Record – Evansville Living Magazine

Setting the Record – Evansville Living Magazine

Robin Renschler and Louisa Royer, principals of Evansville Day School Elementary School

It’s quite an achievement 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.

Louisa is a science lover and for Christmas 2022 she wanted a drone with image and video capabilities so she could see inaccessible plants and environments. Using the drone required practice and an online drone safety course with the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as learning how to use video editing software.

“I really like being able to get to things I couldn’t reach before, like a dangerous plant. With a drone I could get close to it,” says Louisa, who specifically avoids poison ivy.

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

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

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

“I’m really impressed by the variety of her films. In one month, she captures footage of her brother Henry playing basketball, historic buildings downtown, and nature scenes from a boat,” says Mark.

Louisa hopes to become a scientist one day, but for now she is focused on submitting more of her films to festivals.

Watch Louisa’s films on YouTube @lulutravelingtheworld5153