After watching dozens of car chase scenes in movies, the director Reed Morano said that the scariest place to be visually as an audience member was inside the car.
“Anytime I’ve watched one and we cut out of the car, the tension drops for me,” she said in an interview.
So for her action thriller “The Rhythm Section,” about a woman, Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively), who becomes an assassin, Morano wanted to build maximum tension with a car chase sequence that didn’t ever leave the car. Instead, all the action is shot hand-held from the passenger’s seat, the camera panning front and back to capture the chaos and danger happening outside the car, as well as Stephanie’s expressions as she navigates the car.
The sequence appears as an unbroken shot (though it was a few stitched together) and involved some elaborate staging to put together. Morano’s director of photography, Sean Bobbitt, shot from the passenger’s side seated on top of a sliding rail system that gave him the mobility to shoot either closer to the windshield or slide toward the back.
Outside the car, Morano said, “we had these amazing stunt people that, all the way down the line, had things to do: cars, motorcycles, guys jumping out in the street, people on bikes.”
“It was definitely the most fun thing to shoot,” she said.
Read the NYT review: https://nyti.ms/2SgLLrW
More from The New York Times Video: http://nytimes.com/video
Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.