Movie car chases. We love them. I mean, most of them, especially the ones in Ronin or Drive. Sometimes they’re bad (anything in the Fast and Furious franchise after like the sixth movie) and too ridiculous. Either way, they’re real expensive to shoot and require camera people, stunt drivers, Ukrainian Arm cars and their drivers, permits, special effects and on and on and on. What if there was a way for someone to recreate something similar to what we saw in Drive for a comparatively microscopic amount of money?
That’s what Aussie YouTuber Paul E.T. set out to do in a recent video. Starting with Hot Wheels and quickly realizing that it wasn’t going to work at that scale, he eventually landed on 1/10 scale radio-controlled cars, but it doesn’t stop there.
One of the biggest challenges is getting driving footage that’s believable and which looks like you’re in a city. The Mandalorian pioneered using massive LED screens behind the actors and filling them with rendered scenes. Paul figured out how to do this on a much smaller scale with a 65-inch TV and some demo software from The Matrix Awakens to recreate a city with tons of flexibility. To simulate road movement, he uses a projector pointed down at the cars which are just barely lifted off the floor so the wheels can move.
The thing I found interesting, and something that I hadn’t really considered as being a super difficult part of the process is the sound mixing. Again, Paul’s solution here is really ingenious, even if it’s not feasible for someone actually trying to make a film for anything other than fun. He picked a pair of cars from Grand Theft Auto V and drove them around doing burnouts and hard braking until he got enough sound to mix into the film. Overall, the results are really impressive.