IN THIS TIME OF DIGITAL EFFECTS, AT TIMES THE BEST WAY TO SHOT A MOTORCYCLE CHASE IS WITH ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE
In addition to all the notice Deadpool has received for full scenes made with CGI, the movie also had some very stimulating Mavgyver instants when it came to camera apparatus. In the film’s initial fight sequence on the bridge, when our sort of superhero, Mr. Reynolds, decked up in red spandex, hunts down some evil men on motorcycles, the movie crew used a one of a kind, fully electric motorbike, probably the best e-bike in earth, loaded with a camera to get hold of the action shots.
THE REAL SUPERHERO ON SET: REGIS HARRINGTON
At times in Hollywood, getting the best shot says getting prolific with camera skills. The movie’s director, Tim Miller, brought in stunt master Regis Harrington to ride what the movie team calls the cycle cam. Regis is one of the film business’ high stunt drivers from New Orleans, but this motorcycle was not a regular ride. The back of the Z79 bike was loaded with almost 80 to 100 pounds of precious camera apparatus, plus one more 60 or so pounds of batteries, that also served to balance the load.
The scene with the bride was shot as Regis weaved in and out of a mesh of cars, following running away motorcycles on the customized cycle cam. Since the Z79 is entirely electric, there were no motor vibrations to the camera. No matter what happens to the bike, the camera itself maintains a précised movement to it. On top of that, to create the ride that much flat, the camera equipment was framed upon a perked up head so that even if Regis hit a bump or rode over something in the road. The camera would still be able to get an interrupted, smooth shot.
They practiced the entire scene for almost two days so that the whole shot with Deadpool would be shot very quickly and smoothly. The timing was critical, and getting the actions well synced was an absolute priority. All the activities were roped in with Deadpool’s movement as it involved running and chasing of Deadpool’s motorcycle.
EQUIPMENTS BEYOND TIME FOR FILMING
A lot of extra components were added to the ZF9 to make it camera-worthy and capture all the shooting and chasing scenes. This is different from general motorbikes given the speed of the vehicles. It was a massive vehicle to control.
As might be expected, car traffic and cycle cams and motorcycles aside, the shot was also packed with many scenes showing Deadpool counting off skills, admonishing him, and carrying out rotating katana death jumps.
So with this peek at creations like the cycle cam, now we know what goes on behind the shots if frequently just thrilling, as well as Mr. Reynolds smacking butts in red spandex.
Capturing it the right way with our camera bike took a lot of planning because weaving in and out of the very tight vehicle involved a very skilled driver. Regis trained the other stunt riders on the set, as well.
Tim Miller, the movie’s director, needed the audience to get the right feeling from inside the action on for the center car and motorcycle hunt. So he went to the stuntman, Regis Harrington, and hired an unbelievable “cycle cam” developed around an electric Zero S ZF9, the best e-bike to intimately go after and film the action from an “inside” viewpoint.
A steady camera was ascended on the Zero as it knitted its way through the set, hunting the “evil guys” on their Ducati Panigales.
Generally, a machine weighing more than 150 lbs worth of additional apparatus attached to it can be pretty confusing to function, so it would seem that Deadpool was not the only superhero around that day!