Say what you will about his movies, but director Michael Bay has a distinct, immediately identifiable visual style, and a major reason behind that is his dedication to upping the ante with every new project. A new featurette for his latest action film, Ambulance, reveals the maverick drone photography that Bay deployed this time around.
His executive producer Michael Kase said in the two-minute featurette that he has worked with Bay on nine movies, and one of his “first jobs on every movie is” to find the “newest, coolest gear out there.” On Ambulance, they landed on the FPV drone. Manually operated by a “pilot” equipped with a virtual reality headset, the FPV drone is able to capture dynamic shots that almost seem to defy the laws of physics.
The featurette gives quick glimpses of the drone footage they captured for Ambulance. One shot, for instance, glides up the side of the Los Angeles City Hall, performs an impossible pirouette, and then descends down the other side of the building. Another shot zooms underneath a mid-jump cop car. Bay’s signature freeway chase sequence also look fresh this time around, thanks to the drone footage.
Alex Vanover, who operated the FPV drone on the movie, spoke about the process as well. In his own words:
“When I’m flying the drone, I’m acting like Superman, in a way. I’m trying to get these really unique angles and shots. I fly what’s called an FPV drone, and FPV stands for first person view. We wear a set of goggles on our face, and when I’m flying the drone, I’m actually flying it with a VR headset. I’m able to see exactly what the drone’s seeing in real-time. It’s a whole new arena for flying, and it allows us to fly really crazy locations and get some really awesome shots that you can’t get with any other camera or drone.”
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Eiza Gonzalez expressed their excitement for audiences to watch the movie on the big screen. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II said that he hopes people “will leave the theater sweating.”
Ambulance is an action film about two men—a career criminal and a decorated veteran—who attempt to pull off the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history. But when the getaway goes wrong, they hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop and an EMT on board, setting into motion a breakneck chase that spreads across the city for an entire day. Bay has always been fascinated with innovative technology—most recently, he used state-of-the-art IMAX 3D cameras on Transformers: The Last Knight, and in 6 Underground, he attached compact cameras on parkour athletes to capture footage for a foot-chase. He does, however, have a tendency of getting carried away sometimes, and Ambulance better be good, because Bay nearly killed people while making it.
Written by Chris Fedak and based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name, Ambulance is slated to release in theaters on April 8. You can watch the featurette here: