In honor of the latest movie from our favorite franchise, we wanted to spend a little time talking about how to do a chase on a budget.
Chases are one of the greatest joys of cinema. Metal, asphalt, speed, joy and fear, all in a few minutes of screen time. When done well, they can take your project from the mundane to the amazing.
With F9 When we hit theaters, we wanted to take a little time to learn the biggest lessons for chasing car chases on a budget.
To be clear, we’re not talking about zero dollars; There’s really no way you can safely run sequences with thousands of pounds of frenzied metal without spending some money. But even smaller projects can carry out car chases with a little preparation and research.
Analyze your favorite chase scenes
First, analyze your favorite car chases in as much detail as possible. It’s amazing how much can be achieved with a combination of coverage, which means you only need a few key shots which are “wide-angle shots where cars are moving significantly fast”. A wide angle shot mounted on a car can recreate the feeling of speed with a relatively simple rig.
For example, if you watch nightly DVD player theft from the start The Fast The film shows how much time can be spent in the truck’s cab (during the battle between the attacker and the driver).
If you put your vehicle on a projection stage or even in front of a green screen and then pause with properly crafted high-speed moments, you will have to take fewer pictures while moving at full speed on the freeway.
Find a location
Location is key to starting your chase, and while we do all of the amazing freeway work matrix Movies or the first movie in Fast Franchise, you don’t always have the money for it.
However, there are a ton of places you can find, especially if you are outside of your subway area, to have a race. One of the most obvious are career paths that are no longer functioning; There’s no rule that says you can’t find an abandoned circuit and rent it to start a chase if you want.
There are also plenty of abandoned airports, industrial parks, and military bases that have the long drives you’re looking for without being as expensive as a major highway.
One of the many things we love Tokyo drift is the construction site of the illegal race that sends our hero to Tokyo in the first act. The location is everything you’d expect on a low budget project (although likely on a higher budget than you are, the same rules apply). It’s a loop, which means you have less ground to cover, logistically easier to manage, and if you light or run silk, smaller units to order.
But more than that is all of the wonderful cheap things that you can destroy. Do you want a character to drive around a house? This costs a ton if you want a beautiful, completely finished house that looks real. But you still get all the thrill of having a half-finished house, and it’s way, much cheaper for the art department to build a “half-finished” house ready to crash than building a “crash-ready house” real house, with furniture and surfaces.
Put that next to a ton of almost finished houses and you get a ton of production design for not a lot of money. If you’ve found a subdivision that no one has moved into (like this one), it’s even cheaper to rent a location without having to worry about neighbors fretting you shut the street.
That it manages to do all of that and also comments on the impending housing crisis and subprime lending (who do you think is going to buy all the houses they are furiously building in this subdivision) is one of the many things we absolutely love about this movie.
Find a location that works logistically and thematically.
Never a free ride
This is not about them Fast movies in particular, but this is a good time to remind you not to under any circumstances hand-hold your camera while in a vehicle. It’s just very unsafe and we advise against it at any time.
Work with local authorities and hire a coordinator
Outside of the big markets, independent projects should also be able to hire a stunt coordinator to direct the action sequences of a car chase. A good coordinator should also have relationships with the relevant local authorities for all permits.
If something goes wrong and you are not set up properly with your permits, it is one reason your insurance does not cover claims and that is too high a risk.
Sound design is king
While there is a lot to love in the safe drag hunt in the middle Fast five, including great use of cutaways to static stage recordings (so much of the tension drags on and on into the office or to a spectator watching the action, safe and easy recordings versus car recordings), the real star in this sequence is the sound design .
Just listen to the sound of the spiked chains hitting the ground after three minutes in this clip. It’s just a threat, that clanking sound. It creates a much bigger moment out of what could be a smaller moment. We know, of course, that they will find a way, but that clanking sound comes with just the right hint of threat.
The entire sequence uses sound to anchor us in space. There are soundscapes in the car, in the office and in the world of the audience that clash to create intensity. It adds solidity. Every time the safe hits something, we get an exaggerated one Think That lets us know how heavy the prop is.
Keep developing your approach – and inserts, inserts, inserts
There are two big takeaways from studying the train robbery in Fast five (We have to admit we really love it Fast five). You have to develop yourself. And wagering can improve your game tremendously.
First, look at how much drama and energy is generated with the opening bets. The jump over the gutter is built up with three inserts that show how hard the truck is working to get there and also allow for Fox Shox product placement.
The placement is forgivable as it feels like we’re getting additional information: that this truck that looks “junky” is actually a bit of a sleeper, with pro-level suspension working hard underneath to make sure the truck does the job has grown.
But the bigger lesson of this whole sequence is that you have to keep re-directing the tension in new directions.
The sequence begins with the audience asking: How is this truck going to save our heroes?
We get the information how it will work and we see a driver escape. When the second driver does the same it is clear to the film that this runs the risk of getting boring. We’re not going to watch multiple people do the same thing over and over.
So the filmmaking team turns around. Now a fight breaks out and one of our heroes is dangling from the truck. The tension stays high, but there is a new fresh tension that keeps us going.
Too many low budget chase scenes believe they can keep the same tension up for a long time (will Person X catch hero Y, etc.), but it’s so important that the tension is twisted over and over again to keep the audience busy .
As soon as the hero gets off the truck, we have a new tension. How are they going to get the car not to drive off the cliff? It’s the same big overall tension of “Will the Heroes Get Off the Train” but broken down into beats.
These are some of the key takeaways from the amazing auto work in the world Fast Franchise to apply to your next low budget action sequence.
Work with professionals. Take advantage of all the advantages of sound design. And keep turning to keep it interesting.
What did you learn from the car chases in the? Fast Franchise? Tell us in the comments!