Cut to the Chase: The Making of a Modern-Day Automotive-Action Sequence

Car and Driver Magazine explores the planning that went into the car chase sequences of Fast & Furious 6.

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“It’s reality plus 30 percent,” explains Justin Lin about the outsize action in the four Fast & Furious films he has directed. “We take everything that step beyond.” However, that step beyond, that leap from live action to full seat-rattling mayhem, takes people, cars, two years, logistics that span the globe, and a thick layer of technology. Plus bags and bags of cash.

This isn’t the early 1970s, when a relatively small crew could film street-level mayhem on a shoestring. And today’s audiences won’t accept the crappy, computer-generated car imagery that was the standard a decade ago. State of the art in 2013 means combining elements lavishly filmed at locations around the world with digital effects carefully crafted to blend in unnoticed.

Lin’s latest—and, likely, last—film in the series is Fast & Furious 6, basically a chase and heist action flick that opened today, May 24 and features what are probably the most technically ambitious and expensive car sequences ever filmed. F&F 6 pushes the plausibility of car action that extra 30 percent with hundreds of speeding, spinning, and flying cars. Presented here step by step, and skipping only a few hundred steps, is one chase in the film, from the writer’s notion to the full, finished frenzy.

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