From Red Bull Media, by Jazz Kuschke (
The production of Mad Mike Whiddett’s latest edit Conquer The Cape wasn’t without its challenges.
Firstly, Mike had driven BADBUL only a few times since 2014, at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed and during the Magic Roundabout project. But then, he considers each of his five cars an extension of his body, so it took only a few corners to be back in the groove. Secondly, he didn’t have too much chance to recce the drive, due to the tight time constraints of road closures.
For the production team, time was also the biggest hurdle.
“By far the toughest challenge was getting it done in such a short space of time,” explains producer Wayne de Lange from Silver Bullet Films. “Rigging the cameras in the car and on the tracking vehicles took lots of time. Always making sure we are ready for the next shot and moving-on as quick as possible was really hard,” he says.
“Mike and the camera team did not have the luxury to do a corner too many times – we just did not have the time – so everyone, including Mike, had to get it perfect on the first or second take most of the time.
The production crew of some 40 strong, used five cameras over the single day of shooting. This included two land-based rigs, one inside BADBUL, the Shotover F1 system on a helicopter, as well as a rig on a Subaru for the close proximity tracking shots.
“The Subaru was kitted out with best equipment for the tracking shots,” De Lange says. “And, at the wheel was Robbi Smith, the most respected stunt driver in SA and a veteran of countless commercials, films and other similar car shoots.”
According to De Lange, the tracking vehicle had an engine overhaul three days before the shoot after the engine blew during gear testing. “Then, on the day, after three hours of shooting they burnt out the new engine,” he says, explainging how the crew then had to go to a back-up vehicle for the rest of the tracking shots. “To me that is a testament as to how demanding the type of driving Mike does, is vehicles and tyres.”
Another highly technical aspect to the production was capturing BADBUL’s impressive and unique sound. “We had to shoot sound for every take,” says De Lange. “It’s very difficult to shoot sound when you have other vehicles running around and a helicopter overhead, so we had to use highly specialised sound equipment to record that sound and then do sound design during post production to bring the car to life, which also took a lot time.”
After one day of shooting, it took about a week in the edit suite for Conquer The Cape to be cut.
“While this shoot was something new for Silver Bullet, Diana Keam (producer at Silver Bullet) has worked on various car commercials and other similar shoots before,” De Lange says. “Coralee Long did the edit,” De Lange says. “She put her special touch and hand-of-perfection on the project in terms of editing and sound design.”