GRAN TURISMO PRODUCTION
IN THE PITS Gran Turismo’s US theatrical release date had to be pushed back by two weeks due to the SAG-AFTRA strike
feel – I had a lightweight 24–70mm right in the actors’ faces when we wanted to keep the audience wrapped up in the story. Later, we used a long lens on the track, like I did on [Tony Scott’s] Man on Fire , using a 36-435mm. We’d switch back and forth and give the audience an in-depth emotional bond to Jann,” Jouffret continues. “Neill said he wanted us to be with Jann, from his perspective – to feel what he feels and to experience all his anxieties and doubts.” KEEPING TRACK Shot worldwide in five distinctive locations, Jouffret knew that for this high-end production, he needed a variety of cameras. “We used between 12 to 15 cameras to achieve the look Neill was aiming for,” he says. “We had six Sony VENICE 2s, three RED V-RAPTORs and three to four KOMODO FPV drones.” To achieve truly edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting tension, Jouffret mounted three cameras to the car. “The Sony VENICE 2 we inserted inside the cockpit, then the Rialto arm gave us the access and mobility we needed to use it in tight spaces for a full-on experience – like in Top Gun: Maverick . This was crucial to the production; without that, there was no other way the movie could have been made,” Jouffret asserts.
Applying the other cameras on the car also gave the open-ended fluidity Jouffret desired, with the team using a combination of a Sony VENICE 2 and RED V-RAPTOR on the outside of the vehicle. Jouffret had dreamed of shooting on the iconic Le Mans track, but that didn’t come to pass. “We couldn’t get a permit. So, we shot in the UK, Hungary, Japan, Australia and Germany. Actually, we shot on three different tracks to substitute for Le Mans,” he explains. As the production traversed all around the world, each track took on a personality of its own – and brought its own issues. “Neill wanted to explore the story beats specifically from each location, as they became central to the tale of how Jann’s life changed with each track he took on,” Jouffret remarks. “The Nürburgring, for example, is a long track in terms of mileage, while the Red Bull Ring was much less so.” Due to the nature of the cars’ maximum outputs, and with many out on the track – at times more than 20 – Jouffret knew there was a risk of vehicles breaking down. “They were very fragile. They are not stop and go. To get them up to speed required lots of maintenance. And if they stopped, they had to be cooled down,” he recalls. “That took more time – and we were moving at a tight pace.”
Luckily for Jouffret and the rest of the crew, this didn’t arise too much. “We had to keep the cars moving on the track continually. We knew that every time we sent them back out, we had to capture as much footage as possible, because we didn’t know if we could get the track again,” notes Jouffret. Suffice to say, this Sony/PlayStation production had an accommodating budget – within the region of $100-$120 million – while the cast includes a roster of talent, with Archie Madekwe as Jann Mardenborough, alongside Stranger Things ’ David Harbour, Hollywood royalty Orlando Bloom and ex-Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell-Horner. After Gran Turismo , PlayStation and Sony have various series based on video games lined up, such as God of War (on Amazon Prime), Twisted Metal (Peacock) and Horizon Zero Dawn (Netflix). But what’s next for Jouffret? “I just did a miniseries with Peter Berg – a western period piece, the complete opposite of Gran Turismo ,” he remarks. “And, well, I’ll be waiting to see what Neill has next!”
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