Despite shows like The Grand Tour and Top Gear having incredible professionals behind their cameras, it’s still very difficult to make a car look good, or rather fast, on camera. Fortunately, Top Gear has released a behind-the-scenes video of their beautiful film on the Aston Martin Victor to show us exactly how they made the gorgeous, one of a kind car look as fast as it really is.
However, while vehicles such as the Victor may be able to tear up a runway at high speeds, they usually do not appear to move quickly on screen. The BAFTA-nominated Director Jon Richards understands how to capture shots of high-performing cars in motion, the Series Director of Top Gear. These shots are visible in F1 Racing, Drag Racing, and montages produced by automakers. Richards has described how a mix of skilled camera work, capturing the greatest movements and actual speed can create magic on the big screen.
Now that technology has made it easier to assemble the ideal montage of shots for the screens using ground and aerial views, this is a lot more feasible. Here’s what Top Gear revealed about how vehicles can appear fast in a video shared to its YouTube channel.
There are many ground-level shots of the vehicle and its speed. The simplest Jousting Shot is to have two cars approach each other in a head-on situation, with safe close-up speeds. The second element is the Bag Drop, in which the camera sits on the deck facing towards the goal while the other vehicle drives by to get a two-camera split shot.
There are various ways to accentuate the texture and shake the camera through the Side Profiles as the vehicles approach down the runway. This aspect aids in tracking down the side of the car along long perimeters. The Movement is perhaps the most essential element in a power test. When both vehicle and shot move at the same time, zooming, rack focusing, and focus pulling assist capture every movement inside the frame.
Top Gear’s main goal is to keep people safe. The segments recorded from the edge of the track uses a Robot Dolly called Agito to minimize the risk of crew members being injured. The Cinema Drone gives perspectives that are not available with conventional cameras. They are agile and quick to get access to all angles of the car when it’s in motion.
There are two other things this talented team uses to make their videos reflect the power of the car in the clip: Real Speed and a Racing Drone. These are able to keep up with high-performance vehicles.
One-shot doesn’t do justice to a car, and it is vital to use every possible trick to capture high-performance on film.