"I'M HAVING FUN IMAGINING IT, SO WHEN I SAW THIS FRENCH FILM, I WAS A LITTLE JEALOUS!"
In the Les Inrockuptibles interview with Jacky Goldberg, Brian De Palma mentions his "current project" within a discussion about new techniques, and specifically, drone shots. We can guess that the current project would be Sweet Vengeance, a murder mystery that De Palma plans to shoot in Uruguay:
Are you interested in new cinema technical tools? The very high frequency camera (120 frames per second) that Ang Lee uses in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, for example?
Brian De Palma - It seemed futile, but I did not see it in the proper projection conditions; the film has good things otherwise, it's a good idea, but I didn't understand where Ang Lee was coming from. Otherwise, at this moment, it's the drone shots that interest me. In the plane that brought me here, I saw a French film with in-CRED-ible drone shots (he takes out a notebook from his pocket, opens a page where is written: "Goodbye Up There" , drone shots "- Editor's note). These shots have become a cliché, everyone does them because they're pretty, but it's very rare that they make sense. Last year, I was on a jury in Toronto, and I remember saying to my co-jurors: "At the next drone shot, I'm leaving!"
A detrimental consequence of digital cameras is that their extreme sensitivity means you no longer need to know how to light. We can film anything, anywhere, and we immediately have a satisfactory result - and too many people are satisfied. This is how the television style wins. I'm going to look old-fashioned saying that, but the photographic art of a Sternberg is lost, and I regret it. The low sensitivity of the film at that time required extremely complex lighting, so complex that nothing could be arbitrary. Every shot with Marlene Dietrich is a masterpiece in itself.
We can still do incredible things with digital cameras. Things that Sternberg, precisely, could not afford. There was this magnificent Chinese film this year in Cannes, Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night, with a one-hour clip shot, partly filmed with a drone.
Brian De Palma - Long Day's Journey Into Night ... Not easy to remember, but beautiful title. I'll take a look at it. New techniques interest me, don't get me wrong. But only when we use them wisely. Not to make your life easier. When the Steadicam came out, it was a revolution for me. I used it for the first time in Blow Out (in 1981 - ed), and it allowed me to design shots more and more complex. The one at the end of Carlito's Way, in the escalators, is another good example. At the moment, I'm working on a project that requires a very complex drone shot, and I'm having fun imagining it. So when I saw this French film, I was a little jealous (laughs)!
Drones, Stampedes, Gunshots, and many 'oles' - as Domino films in Almería