CORTINA (Italy): How do you lend realism to a fast-paced video game?
Film the action in real life, of course.
The game maker for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit did just that in "trying to create a real-life, full-motion video."
And why Italy?
Three simple reasons
> It is near to some of its closest automotive partners (in fact, this region is known as the “capital of engines”, near the headquarters of Pagani, Lamborghini, Maserati and more);
> The hair-raising mountain scenery has a striking resemblance to Hot Pursuit’s beautiful Seacrest County; and
> Great espresso!
On location in the majestic Italian Alps, 16km from Cortina D’Ampezzo, in a mountain pass known as Passo di Falzarego, were possibly the only two vehicles on the planet able to rival the surrounding scenery in a beauty contest – the Pagani Zonda Cinque and a police Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.
Cortina, located in an alpine valley in northern Italy, was the site where much of 1963 classic The Pink Panther was shot. It was also the venue for a James Bond action sequence in the 1981 For Your Eyes Only in which gunners on spike-wheeled motorcycles chased after Roger Moore on skis.
The Need for Speed Hot Pursuit developer, Criterion Games which is owned by Electronic Arts Inc, offered a fascinating insight into the production of the video.
For the filming, the Pagani manufacturer built a Zonda Cinque prototype out of its workhorse development Zonda – a process supervised entirely by Horacio Pagani himself.
Creating the Zonda’s chiselled exterior was only half the challenge.
Replicating its trademark banshee wail – one of the most unique and remarkable engine notes in the automotive world – was done meticulously and appears in the video as well as in Hot Pursuit. In fact, a separate audio recording session was done with the Cinque.
The Murcielago, originally painted slate gray, was affixed with cop lights provided by a film studio in Vancouver and sent to Lamborghini’s official body shop in Modena, Italy to be wrapped in black-and-white Seacrest County PD livery.
With about US$2mil (RM6.2mil) in sexy Italian supercars roaring around the Dolomites, a helicopter was used to film the chase, with a US$500,000 (RM1.6mil) Cineflex camera – frequently used by news, police, military, and high-end film crews – strapped to its nose. To enhance the atmosphere, the chopper was given the same SPCD livery as the Lambo.
Professional stunt drivers were recruited for the live-action representation of the breakneck, high-impact action racing of Hot Pursuit. Behind the wheel of the Murcielago was Marc Hennerici, and piloting the Zonda was Marc Basseng. When they’re not defying death at high speeds for Need for Speed, they’re doing the same on a popular German TV show.
For this project, Runimation Studios came onboard. It is one of the few production houses in the world with hands-on Zonda experience. Runimation Studios and director Robert Eder had shot the official ad for the Zonda R earlier this year.
The video game was released on Nov 16.
Shown below is a Need for Speed Hot Pursuit demo so you get a sense of what the developer was trying to capture on film.
(All photos and video by needforspeed.com, EA)
The modern car is one of the most sophisticated machines ever created. Dozens of control systems and computer processors work together to ensure it works seamlessly and effectively day in and day out.
But machines do break down occasionally. The technical team of The Otomotif College (TOC) is here to offer advice and help troubleshoot car problems
The team of seven trainers, led by Allan Cabiles (pic), has collectively 30 years of experience in a wide range of car makes. The TOC Team prides itself on keeping pace with the ever-evolving automotive industry. Its trainers undergo training sessions with a network of 800 industry partners across the country.
With such an extensive body of knowledge, think of the TOC Team as your go-to automotive experts.
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