That’s right, the American film director, who happens to be a huge fan of classic action film sequences decided to opt out of using computer generated images in exchange for legitimate car on car stunts. In particular, the film features seven modified 2014 Ford Mustangs which were built for filming and promotion and the 2015 Mustang fastback.
Waugh, who is a former stuntman, having performed and coordinated stunts in films such as Bad Boys II and xXx felt that the performance, sound and visual presence of the Ford Mustang made it a natural choice for the hero car role of the movie.
“My philosophy has always been you can’t break physics,” said Waugh. “If you do, it hurts the story,because then the physics don’t apply to the characters either” he added. “Doing practical stunts with cars takes more up-front preparation to set up the shots and ensure safety, but the end result is worth it”.
In particular Waugh and director of Photography, Shane Hurlbut used similar technology and filming techniques which were pioneered in 1960’s classics such as “Grand Prix” and “Bullitt”. More than 40 different digital cameras were used in total, far surpassing the image quality of what could have been achieved back in the sixties. Three different camera cars including a supercharged Mustang GT were also used in production to capture the close-in action.
“It’s really complicated to shoot in a car,” said Waugh. “You’re so confined. So we made sure all the camera angles would convince the audience the actors were really driving”.
In addition to professional stunt drivers, the film cast also needed to be orientated on how to safely handle the high-powered driving machines in the movie and as a result went through an intensive training at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in California, where they learned such intricacies of car control and performed maneuvers such as drifting around corners. One driver who didn’t require such intense training was champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr who was recruited for the sequences that involved driving the all-new 2015 Mustang.
“Need for Speed” features on the protagonists quest to cross America in a modified 2014 Mustang GT. Of the seven wide-boy Mustangs, three survived the filming process.