How They Shot the Opening Car Chase Scene in 'John Wick 2'

No matter how small I am in the business I always try to watch how the big ones do it. Probably I won't be able to do most of the work those big budget movies do, but I still want to know the principles. Who knows what may come up my way that may need key knowledge I get from videos like these. In that segment the stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott describes how they shot the opening scene from "John Wick 2."

Car chasing scenes are quite hard to be accomplished especially when the director wants to make them as much in camera as possible. Although most of the work is made on set the final word is the editors'. They cut the scenes in a way so it makes us feel immersed in the action. In this video, Prescott gives us an insight how they organized the stunts. It's interesting to know Keanu Reeves did some of the stunts himself for he was one of the best drivers in the business. But most of the time there's a close-up of him in the car there was a stunt driver sitting on the top actually driving the vehicle. For us, the small budget filmmakers, the cheapest way to accomplish "big budget looking shots" is using a green screen. It's good to know they pulled one of the stunts this way. Prescott describes in detail how they shot the background plate and how they positioned the cameras for the green screen set. He shares some tips on small details stunt drivers and doubles know we never noticed.

[via Filmmaker IQ]

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Lee Morris's picture

This is incredible. When you see how much effort goes into each shot it really makes it clear why these types movies can cost so much (even though I think this is still relatively low budget). I still don't understand how movies without any VFX or action scenes like this require a hundred million dollars to produce.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Recently I read an article on "" where there was a contract for 1 day shooting lifestyle stills for a retailer. They've got 8 models and all of that cost $40,000 for 12 images. The commission for the photographer was about $6,000. Everything else was into model fees, styling, stylists, location, producer commission, etc.

In movies it's usually the actors who get the most of the pie. It's not unusual famous actors to get $5-70M (yes, million) for their role in a movie. The director also may get a double figure M's. Whatever is left is left for the others, incuding the DP who usually takes less than $50K.

That makes me think to write an article about this. I just have to find the exact article where I read that.

EDIT: Oh, here it is:

Felix Hernandez's picture

Love it!!!!.. On camera effects... plus some digital... best of two worlds!

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

And digital ones are so invisible. That's what makes it look so good.

Ralph Hightower's picture

They had to destroy a classic Mustang for this movie? That's sacrilege!

Dave Oliver's picture

Would be a "movie" car, so a junk car made to look nice with a LS1 V8 in it.

Paulo Macedo's picture

At first I saw the article, then I saw the scene, then I've rented the movie and 2h later I was feeling like kicking everybody's teeth in! Freaking awesomeness of a movie! Think fast, kick the living crap out of other dudes knees, break an arm or two, bullet to the head!! Mannnn I got thrilled!!! LOL