HAVANA, May 9th The “Fast and Furious” cast and crew have been filming around Havana, Cuba for the past week and the behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot is bonkers.
In an official video from the studio, we’re treated to a bit of a drag race on the Malecón, the sea-adjacent highway that winds around the outskirts of Havana, some aerial footage from the helicopter as well as Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray explaining why Cuba has been so great. Also, towards the end, Michelle Rodriguez cuts loose in the living room of someone’s home while a band plays, and that’s pretty neat.
But the really impressive stuff is in a home video shot by an enterprising Cuban citizen who gets in the right place at the right time and catches multiple angles of the race. You can see the full scope of the production. On the closed Malecón a camera car waits ahead of a black 1956 Ford Fairlane pitted against a 1941 Chevrolet Fastback, missing a hood, door and smoking from the engine.
When the shot starts, the trio of cars screeches off; to the right, a camera bike speeds along the sideway, in between pedestrian extras. A helicopter with a gyro cam swoops in, though it’s not as dramatic as a few minutes later, when the amateur paparazzo moves locations.
From this new vantage point, we see the Ford and Chevy sliding out onto the highway from a side street. The first take gets a little hairy when the Chevy gooses it in the turn, slips a little sideways and (maybe?) bangs into the side of the Ford towards the end. The second take goes more smoothly, though the shocker is how the daring helicopter pilot gets so close—it seems he’s a mere 10 feet from the ground. By the third go, it all looks fluid, and the cars seem in perfect unison.