Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 8, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes “Date Night” Car Chase Slide Show

Here is a new series of photos provided by stunt coordinator Jack Gill on how the chase scenes were filmed in the movie “Date Night”. If you get tired of the annoying animation (as I quickly did) click on “View All Images.” For the full story, read my earlier interviews with Jack Gill and John Orlebeck.

The “Date Night” car chase filming took place on Broadway – in downtown Los Angeles in April 2009. In the first shot in this slide show, a “high shot” boom camera is readied above an Audi R8 locked bumper to bumper with a New York City taxi.

Next, a rear angle of all the paraphernalia needed to wire the R8 for “lights, camera, action!”

To film looking at the R8, from the perspective of the Ford Crown Vic taxi, a whole different set of cameras had to be mounted on the Ford’s hood. And of course, the R8 being shot couldn’t have any camera gear showing, so the same scene had to be completely re-shot from that new perspective – but it had to match the R8’s cameras’ perspective, for matched cuts in the edit room.The process was slow and laborious and had to be shot a few seconds at a time, over a period of several nights.

The stunt team also built a 40-foot-long chassis, upon which they mounted both a Crown Vic and an R8. The drivers in the driver’s seats of each vehicle could see nothing, from where they sat, so Mr. Gill built hidden driver compartments into the trunk of the taxi and the engine compartment of the R8. From those vantage points, each driver was able to aim his or her end of the conjoined cars. Mr. Gill also rigged the 40-foot-long chassis with four wheel steering, so it could be pitched around corners more easily.

The filming of the entire sequence, from conception to execution, took more than five months.

Mr. Gill estimates that the final sequence, which was edited down to three and a half minutes (from nine!) cost somewhere between $1 million and $2 million to film.

Jerry Garrett

April 8, 2010

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Responses

  1. […] To view a behind-the-scenes slide show of the making of the chase scene, with a dozen photos from Jack Gill, explore my site further to find the feature I assembled, or just click here. […]

  2. WOW!
    Most amazing car chase scene I have ever seen! I felt I was in the cars with them! I was concerned for any trauma that might occur. Thankfully nothing serious happened! Incredibly well done!
    Cheers!

    • The stunt coordinator is Old School. His idol is the chase scene in “Bullitt” and thinks the audience should feel like it is along for the same ride.


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