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Forza FilmSpeed

John Schommer
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What do you get when you combine one of the fastest supercars in the world, the uncanny driving skills of Tanner Foust, and purpose built HD camera technology? You get “Forza FilmSpeed,” the new commercial for Forza Motorsport 5 debuting worldwide today. In the process of creating this amazing short film, we also created the world’s fastest camera car, the world’s fastest zoetrope, and enough excitement to match the anticipation surrounding the release of Forza Motorsport 5. First, check out Forza Filmspeed in its entirety:



In “Forza FilmSpeed,” fans enter the track with Foust as he grips the wheel of the McLaren 12C and watch as he hits speeds upwards of 120 mph while filming. The carbon fiber structure of this $300,000 supercar has been outfitted with an additional several hundred pounds -- and tens of thousands of dollars of high-tech equipment -- in building a Hollywood-strength, purpose-built HD camera rig with the sole goal of capturing the world’s fastest zoetrope. Acclaimed automotive director and rally champion Jeff Zwart directed the project, which was developed after months of careful research and preparation.


Invented in 1834 by William Horner, the zoetrope is a simple device that turns static pictures into moving images. Small illustrations are placed equal distances apart inside the bottom of an open drum and when spun, the static illustrations produce the illusion of motion; the faster they go, the more fluid the animation. Filmmakers today have far more advanced technologies at their disposal, but the basic concept of the zoetrope rings true. The more illustrations you use and the faster you flip between them, the smoother the animation. Forza FilmSpeed emulates this technology by translating the speed via racetrack, a top stunt driver, and an incredible supercar.



How did they do it? The crew placed hundreds of aluminum boards, each featuring a single frame taken directly from “Forza Motorsport 5” and spaced them precisely six inches apart in sequence, trackside at Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, Alabama. The Foust-driven McLaren 12C hit meticulously controlled speeds of up to 120 mph to capture images and create a technical marvel, capturing the essence of precision and heart-pounding action found in “Forza Motorsport 5.”



There is also a multi-part behind the scenes series that is equally interesting. For more insight into what it took to create Forza FilmSpeed check out: 


The Vision Behind Filmspeed


The Car Behind Filmspeed


The Math Behind FilmSpeed