VW Racing across the studio floor
In that era we couldn’t just scan and Photoshop the picture to create movement. So a lot of thought went into trying to make the car look like it’s moving when it wasn’t, the wheels had to revolve, the background and foreground had to give the impression of movement. Plus the fact that the reflections in the side of the car should have a little speed effect and all this in a studio 9x15 meters.
Firstly we Jacked the car up to be able to revolve the wheels we then found that the wheels started go in at the bottom (camber to the lads and weird to the girls), the answer was to remove the suspension and try again it worked fine with a few clamps etc. holding it all in place.
The floor was then slid in place under the car, leaving slots to enable it to move without touching the jacks, pipes were added under the floor the idea to have a floor that could move independently rolling backwards and forwards on the pipes.
The rest of the set was painted on a panel behind the car mounted on wheels, we then added a few real branches for more realism, exactly the same procedure was used for the reflections in the side of the car.
This is how it was exposed, assistant n° 1 gets the easy job sitting still in the car for the ten second exposure.
assistant n°2 moving the panel behind the car forward 20 inches and back 20 inches.
assistant n° 3 and 4 pulling in heavy fishing line that had been wound around the wheels beforehand .
Assistants n° 5 and 6 would be moving the foor.
assistant n°7 would be moving the branches reflecting in the side of the car.
I of course had the cable release in my hand, leaving nobody to make my coffee.
Why bother? well ok, I probably could have taken it outside but the way we shot it was much more fun!
The real reason was that the car was a prototype at the time (showing my age) and if it had been seen in public there would have been hell to pay.
So that's how we used to shoot a VW racing across the studio floor