A crazy camera-covered car that looks straight out of a Mad Max film has been spotted driving around the streets of London, in the United Kingdom.
The post-apocalyptic camera car was being escorted by police around the streets of London's Brixton area – and it is sandwiched between a black cab taxi, a silver Mercedes and a black van. Why is this important? Because the car is outfitted with a 360° shooting rig composed of Arri cinema cameras (opens in new tab), as it is filming scenes for a television or motion picture production.
• Read more: Best 360 cameras (opens in new tab)
This wild (and wildly expensive) multi-cine cam rig is effectively filming a 360° perspective of the hero vehicle being driven in the production. In capturing the view from every possible angle seen outside the vehicle, the visual effects team will be able to composite the scenes outside any of the front, rear or side windows (or even the sunroof) using the magic of green screen backgrounds (opens in new tab) to insert these 'background plates'.
This enables the actors to perform their scenes on a sound stage, rather than while in a vehicle driving in circles around London. This is also why the camera car is in a police caravan with specific vehicles in front of and behind it; to ensure continuity between shots, rather than having different cars appear between takes.
"This strange looking vehicle was seen in Coldharbour Lane a couple of hours ago, wedged between a black cab and a silver Mercedes, with a police motorbike at each end of the convoy," wrote the Brixton Buzz (opens in new tab) website, noting that the vehicles were driving in the direction of Camberwell.
The site linked to a Reddit post (opens in new tab) detailing a very similar 10-camera setup used to film 360° background plates for the CBS series, Madam Secretary. While the same footage can be captured using a GoPro Max (opens in new tab) or Insta360 One X2 (opens in new tab), this hundred-thousand-dollar camera rig is a reminder of the kind of production values that go into even the simplest scenes in Hollywood!