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This Mad Max camera car has been roaming London's streets!

Camera car
(Image credit: Brixton Buzz)

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'. 

(Image credit: Brixton Buzz)

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! 

Read more: 

Best cinema cameras
(opens in new tab)Best green screen backgrounds (opens in new tab)
GoPro Max review (opens in new tab)
Insta360 One X2 review (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.