Ambulance Featurette Reveals How The Film Got Its Drone Shots

Say what you will about his movies, but director Michael Bay has a distinct and immediately identifiable visual style, and one of the main reasons behind that is its dedication to upping the ante with every new project. A new featurette for his latest action movie, Ambulancereveals the maverick drone photography Bay deployed this time around.

Its executive producer Michel Kase said in the two-minute featurette that he’s worked with Bay on nine movies, and one of his “first jobs on every movie is ‘to find “the newest, coolest material there is.” At Ambulance, they landed on the FPV drone. Manually piloted 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 a quick look at the drone footage they captured for Ambulance. One plane, for example, slides down the side of Los Angeles City Hall, performs an impossible pirouette, and then descends the other side of the building. Another shot zooms under a mid-jump police car. Bay’s highway chase sequence also looks fresh this time around, thanks to drone footage.

Picture via Universal

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Alex Vanover, who used the FPV drone on the film, also spoke about the process. In his own words:

“When I fly the drone, I act like Superman, in a way. I try to get these really unique angles and shots. I fly what’s called an FPV drone, and FPV stands for view We’re wearing a set of goggles over our face, and when I’m flying the drone, I’m actually flying it with a VR headset on. I can see exactly what the drone is seeing in real time. It’s a whole new arena to fly, and it allows us to fly over some really crazy places 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 film on the big screen. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II said he hoped people would “leave the theater in a sweat”.

Ambulance is an action film about two men – a career criminal and a decorated veteran – who attempt to pull off the biggest bank robbery in Los Angeles history. But when the getaway goes awry, they hijack an ambulance with an injured cop and an EMT on board, setting off a frantic chase that sweeps through town for an entire day. Bay has always been fascinated by innovative technology – most recently using state-of-the-art IMAX 3D cameras on Transformers: The Last Knightand in 6 Underground, he attached compact cameras to parkour athletes to capture footage for a foot chase. However, he tends to get carried away sometimes and Ambulance better be good, because Bay nearly killed people doing it.

Written by Chris Fedac and based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name, Ambulance is set to hit theaters on April 8. You can watch the featurette here:


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