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!


4 thoughts on “GIVE IT A REST, PLEASE…”

  1. Beautiful film, Greg! But in your case the drones actually enhance the effort…which is what I want to see more of!

  2. Of course, I just watched a Subaru promo film involving a winter snow rally and naturally the drone footage adds to the visual impact which could not be safely achieved using a crane or conventional helicopter. I agree that every drama seems to have gratuitous drone shots that seem to be filler and do not move the story forward. Keep up the fight young man and old friend, Greg

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