The Fast and the Furious conglomerate of movies is known for their egregious use of CGI and quite frankly some poor decision making, but according to a recent behind the scenes look from the latest Furious 7 sequel, this reputation might need reconsideration.
Producers decided to ditch the green screen and hired real stuntmen to coordinate a live-action drop from a C-130 military cargo plane. While the chances of a successful airdrop of five street legal hotrods is basically nil, this real-life parachute stunt is a step in the right direction for the franchise known for their extreme efforts in fakery.
Federal regulations limit flight above 12,500 feet without supplemental oxygen for the flight crew if flight at that altitude is more than 30 minutes. Regulations get more stringent at altitudes of 14,000 and beyond. According to stunt coordinators, the cars dropped at 12,000 feet and the chutes weren't opened until 5,000 feet. This limited the opportunity to get the perfect shots to just a handful seconds.
While the sweet, street racing cars that are launched from the back of the military cargo aircraft look realistic, they were just stripped out empty shells with a burly, customized facade, much like Vin Diesel's character in the movie. This making-of video also clearly shows Dom's Dodge suspended from a forklift as if its light as a feather.
While its pleasing to know the filmmakers chose not to resort to animated car stunt fantasyland, let's not hand out too much credit since this attempt at originality is quite obviously a duplication of the classic stunt from this 1966 Fiat marketing campaign. Thanks Fast and Furious for catching up with the '60s.