While the five-minute video is filled with many other moments of, we’ll say, varying degrees of excitement, the real treat comes in around the 2:30 mark as we watch from the perspective of a camera car as it pursues Jason Bourne’s heroic Dodge Charger. Hanging out over the front of the camera car is a device known as a Russian Arm, essentially a stabilized crane that bolts to a car at one end and supports a gimbal with a camera at the other.
The camera begins low, sweeping across the front of the car nearly at street level, then suddenly jumps upward to clear other vehicles in its path, then drops down again to duck below streetlights. It’s a mesmerizing mechanical dance that, sadly, is over in about 15 seconds. Fortunately, no cameras appear to have been harmed in the making of it.
Jason Bourne hits theaters on Thursday, July 28, and we can only hope its car-chase scene lives up to the level of excitement provided by this brief glimpse into how it was made.
Beyond Hollywood, camera cars are commonly found on location with car commercials and TV shows. If you have a hankering to try one yourself, Chase Car Inc. of Valencia, CA rents a fully loaded Porsche Cayenne with crane and crew for the low price of just $6,400 per day.
For more behind-the-scenes camera car action, check out this 2013 video from the BBC’s Top Gear. Camera cars are used extensively on the show, accentuated by the work of daredevil helicopter pilots.