Earlier this week, Famous Footwear (of all brands!) dropped a video on the internet of a 550 horsepower LS3-swapped minivan tearing it up on suburban streets. Now, in this behind the scenes video, we get a closer look at the movie magic employed to make it.
Produced by YouTube-centric marketing company ShareAbility, the video stars professional driver Shauna Duggins as “mom” behind the wheel of a Mazda 5 van modified by special effects design and fabrication company JEM FX in Valencia, California.
While the exterior driving shots are real, kid-sized mannequins were used for the sequences where the van was actually moving under its own power. To get the interior shots of the two kids, the production team came up with a clever solution that wouldn’t endanger the young actors. A rig was built to pump smoke behind the van, and all four wheels were lifted up on caster jacks so that the Mazda could be pulled around by hand. From the inside, it looks like the minivan is cutting smoky donuts while the bored kids play with their video games.
Some might call that cheating, but the video shows why it was a good idea – in the initial attempts to get the van to do a 90-degree slide in front of a Famous Footwear store, things went awry and the van had a close encounter with the curb. It’s probably good the kids didn’t get to experience that firsthand.
It’s interesting to see just how many people and how much planning go into a video like this – have a look and see what you think.