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The crazy adventure of filming Jesus’ baptismal site with a drone

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to use a drone at the baptism site due to its proximity to the Israeli border,” said the voice on the other end of the line. And that was that, or so we thought. Members of the Aleteia Video and Image department were leaving for Jordan to capture footage and stills for several upcoming productions, and at the heart of this was the perhaps the unrealistically optimistic hope that a drone could be used for overhead shots of the several locations.

Paperwork and approval from the Jordanian Tourism Board, Royal Jordanian Film Commission, and the Jordanian Armed Forces would all need to be arranged for there to be even a slight chance of bringing a drone into the country, let alone fly it. So as I sat back in my desk staring at an old map of Amman, I decided to leave it in God’s hands and accept whatever outcome would result.

A few days before our departure an email came in that read, “I just want to let you know that head office informed me the drone permits were issued and all is looking good.” Still a “no” to the…

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