Whenever a new technique or piece of gear is introduced there usually follows a period during which it quickly becomes over-used, with little regard for propriety. Just think of zoom lenses in the ’60’s, Steadicam in the mid-’70’s and visual effects\CGI from the ’80’s up to this moment. Like everything that came before, they eventually found a proper spot in the arsenal, but not after beating audiences over the head with their novelty – much like drones have been doing for the past several years.
Seriously, does the world need another “look at how clever I am” moment as the camera jinks meaninglessly from a bird’s-eye view? And what about those stratospheric lock-offs that just hang there in the ether, like a helicopter used to prior to this cheaper alternative? Or, most distracting of all, the languorous overhead transitional shots (read: filler, especially in documentaries)? Assuming filmmakers want viewers to be more aware of story than hardware, I’d suggest saving a lot of bother by inserting a title card, “Perfunctory Drone Shot Goes Here.”
I’m as much of an equipment junkie as the next person; I also admit that when used tastefully drones can be an amazing creative tool. But a note to my colleagues: Let’s think twice before filling the screen with anymore flying camera platform shots. They’re often gratuitous, frequently repetitive…and already have become cliché!