Secrets of Filming Cars at Speed | Series Director Jon Richards on Fast-Moving Car Shots

Secrets of Filming Cars at Speed | Series Director Jon Richards on Fast-Moving Car Shots


Powerful cars don’t always pack a punch when it comes to filming. So how do you capture that speed? Series Director Jon Richards explains the tricks and techniques the production team uses to capture high performance authentically.Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

so here we are at one of the top gear edit suites and i’ve been asked to show you a couple of shots that for me capture the essence of speed so the irony of filming cars is a car actually doesn’t look that quick it feels quick to be in it but to film it looking quick is another thing entirely one shot just doesn’t do it justice so it’s kind of an amalgamation of loads of shots so here’s a couple of selection shots we put together to kind of give us that impact of this speed is proper one of our tools of trade is the classic joust it’s basically a car to car head-on scenario it’s basically like driving on a motorway without a barrier kind of driving towards each other it’s nice and safe and you get that amazing closing speeds here’s another little joust so this one’s pretty lively bam slams through and then it hits what i call the bag drop so the camera is literally sitting here on the deck uh we’ve got another camera facing this way as well so it’s kind of a two camera split camera guys back away they run a mile um because that car’s probably 170 through at that point and then you get that insane insane here a car going down the middle of the runway just doesn’t look quick there’s nothing to drive by there’s no texture so what we do is we have to kind of exaggerate that all sorts of ways we kind of shake the camera about we film it on side profiles like this with all sorts of texture here’s another little one side profile tracking car that’s shaking the intensity of it here’s another one foreground texture flying past the camera look at that we’re doing about 80 miles an hour in the tracking car side profile running down a perimeter road with the with the hero car on the main runway it’s classy safety is a massive deal for us at top gear and looking after our crew keeping our people safe is a big deal one of the ways that we’ve been doing that is using drones tracking cars and actually just recently we’ve used this thing called lugito which is like a kind of a robot dolly it’s like a remote control car i think there’s a couple of clips for it okay this is the agito but what that means is we can put this little dolly on the outside of a bend right here so this is the agito doing its magic now so we can be on the outside and not risk a tyre blowing out or something like that where the tire can spin off it’s safe but it’s also dramatic using our drone is a massive deal for us because it can get places that cameras can’t you know camera guys can’t suspend themselves from a balloon you know and get these amazing angles but these drones are so maneuverable and so quick at repointing they can just get into the action it’s simple but it just shows the car powers into frame and it just gives us storytelling so it shows us geography it shows the car attacking the corner to quote brad pitt in world war z movement is life and that is the truth it’s all about movement for a power test if the car’s not moving if the shot’s not moving or you know ideally we have the car moving and the shot moving and something else happening a zoom a rack focus it’s all about capturing as much movement as possible into the frame and if we’re not i think we’re doing something wrong one of the things i’m immensely proud of at top gear is that we do things for real we capture speed for real and we get it in the bag as authentically as we can this little series with a hurricane with chris harris is exactly one of those for me but it’s here and it’s like widescreen comes in oh my days straight away you grabbed racing drone shaky cam handheld on boards revs through frame pov into upper body chris harris reaction two jousts over the shot chase car massive drone i mean come on look at that effect shot oh my days then the catch up it goes on i mean it’s like i’ve just thrown everything i’ve got in the box at that it is all in there it is all happening and yeah i can’t get enough of it you know the amazing thing is we’ve got incredible talent to work with we’ve got the best racing drones in the industry check this out fpv indigo’s bam we then have cameras on the front pov we call them point of view so we kind of slam it on the deck normally on the front splitter this gives us loads of energy and get that impact of the of the kerbs so this low angle here is amazing little tool for us and we use it a lot of the time for me one shot doesn’t do justice to the speed of a car it’s actually combining multiple shots multiple shots you’ve just seen when you put them together in the right order for me that captures the essence of speed

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