A new behind-the-scenes video for Michael Bay’s Ambulance shows how the director uses new technology to improve his movie’s action scenes. Michael Bay shows off the new technology he’s using to improve the action of his latest film, Ambulance. The new action-thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez, and Garret Dillahunt. It follows a group of veterans who stage a bank robbery that goes awry, sending them on a wild chase through L.A. in a hijacked ambulance.
Ambulance is based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name, albeit on a much larger scale.
Bay is best known for his work on the Transformers franchise, which he directed for five features before finally exiting the franchise. Before those films, Bay was primarily known for his action movies, such as Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, The Rock, and Armageddon. Bay is known for his explosive, kinetic, and stylish action sequences, which he’s now returning to, along with his earlier high-concept action films. The director has already experimented with new techniques and styles with his most recent films, including 13 Hours with John Krasinski and Netflix’s 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds.
‘Ambulance’ Featurette Reveals How Michael Bay Pulled Off Those Incredible Drone Shots
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.
Go inside cutting-edge tech of Michael Bay’s thriller ‘Ambulance’ with new behind-the-scenes footage
Co-starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Ambulance drives into theaters Friday, April 8. For the first time in half a decade, Michael Bay returns to the big screen with his latest contribution to the high-octane action movie genre: Ambulance (opening in theaters April 8). A remake of the 2005 French film of the same name, the project centers around a pair of bank-robbing brothers (Prisoners’ Jake Gyllenhaal and Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who get in way over their heads when a by-the-numbers heist goes terribly wrong.
Forced to flee, the criminals hijack a nearby ambulance and lead the cops on a merry chase throughout Los Angeles. That premise alone would be enough for a solid, adrenaline-pumping trip to your local theater. But wait! There’s more! The medical vehicle the brothers are now driving has an injured police officer in the back and the robbers must keep him alive — working alongside the EMT they’ve taken hostage (Godzilla vs. Kong’s Eiza González) — if they want to have any hope of surviving the ordeal.
Again, the set-up is rock solid. No need to go the extra mile, right? Wrong! Hoping to take audiences on the thrill ride of their lives, Bay and his team utilized innovative drone technology capable of bagging angles you just can’t get with traditional cameras. The tech is known as FPV (“First Person View”) and requires the drone operator to wear a VR headset that allows them to see whatever the flying camera sees. Very cool, but probably not the best gig for individuals plagued by vertigo and acrophobia.
“Michael Bay is the consummate action director of his time,” producer Bradley Fischer remarks in another making-of video (see below). “He has a very specific stylistic approach to the way that he tells stories.” Note: Impero
The filmmaker’s desire to place viewers into the very thick of the action stems from his love of the heist genre. “We all fantasize about being criminals potentially. What would it be like if you were bad somehow and could you get away with?” Bay states in a Universal Studios interview conducted for the film. “You always say, ‘Could I ever get away with a bank robbery? Oh, I can outrun these or I can be sneaky enough to do this.’ But most of the time, you can’t. The world’s too sophisticated nowadays, the police are too sophisticated. There are a lot of sophisticated criminals, but because a heist movie is immediate and it’s happening right now and it can get screwed up very quickly and go in the wrong direction…one bad decision can just escalate and that’s what’s interesting about it.” Note: Impero