Out­live, out­last and be awe­some in the face of ad­ver­sity

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

To pump up the au­then­tic­ity in a movie that glam­ourises get­away driv­ing, there’s one easy trick: have the ac­tor do the driv­ing. Some of it, at least. Baby Driver stunt co-or­di­na­tor Jeremy Fry shared some in­sight.


No mat­ter how good the ac­tors might get at driv­ing, there are al­ways mo­ments they hand over to the pros. For the most chal­leng­ing scenes, Fry and his team would use what’s called a pod car (above): an ap­pa­ra­tus at­tached to the top of a ve­hi­cle that al­lows a stunt driver to con­trol the car from above. “The steer­ing wheel in the car is a dummy,” Fry says. “Usu­ally the ped­als aren’t hooked up to any­thing ei­ther.” Al­though it took some push­ing to get him to shat­ter the il­lu­sion of the film, Fry ad­mit­ted there were a lot of scenes that used the pod car. “Un­less it’s a wider shot show­ing the whole car, it’s probably not [the ac­tor] driv­ing.”


Most driv­ers are not close enough to the steer­ing wheel. To have more con­trol, Fry says, “you don’t want to be right on top of it, with the wheel in your chest but I like to sit a lit­tle closer than most peo­ple.”


Get­ting a ve­hi­cle to spin 180 ˚ re­quires coach­ing but isn’t that hard to teach. “You can show some­one how to lock the wheels, how not to do it, and dif­fer­ent ways to move the steer­ing wheel to get dif­fer­ent re­sults from the car,” Fry says. Head into your turn, then yank the E brake. Turn­ing the wheel even the slight­est bit will cause the car to ro­tate but if you turn it too far, the car won’t come all the way around. The tough­est part is hav­ing the con­fi­dence to trust your­self.

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