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Look out for more coverage of

NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience
in our magazines

NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience

Kiefer Sutherland narrates
DIRECTOR: Simon Wincer

Impressive photography THE CONCEPT:
Kiefer Sutherland narrates a film that thrusts moviegoers and NASCAR fans into the driverís seat to experience the heart-pounding thrills of stock car racing at breakneck speed.

U.S. RELEASE: March 12 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG


ďDoing an IMAX film is a great learning curve, because itís 15 times bigger than a normal movie screen. I could never have done the NASCAR movie if I hadnít done a normal IMAX movie, which was The Black Stallion. The big difference is, this one is also in 3D, which only really works in wide-angle lenses. The 3D camera is about $2 million, and there are only two in the world. You can only shoot three minutes per magazine, so itís a nightmare, you really have to plan what you want to shoot.Ē

ďI now have an emotional attachment to NASCAR racing that I didnít have prior to working on this film, and Iíve become a very big fan of the sport. NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience puts you in the driverís seat at a series of races, and you can virtually feel the speed of the cars and the thunder of the engines.Ē

ďThe only part of the movie that is staged is the opening sequence, which is the moonshiner being chased by the police, and the actual on-track footage when the camera is either in the car, on the car, or tracking with the cars. You canít do that during the race, because you never know when anything is going to go wrong. For example, thereís a shot in the film where a tire comes flying off the car and hits the camera, thatís not CGI; thatís real, it wasnít staged.Ē

JIMMIE JOHNSON (NASCAR driver) on playing the role of the moonshiner in the movie:
"Driving the car, sliding around the dirt roads, was a lot of fun. The car seemed like it was going 300 miles an hour, but I was probably doing 40. I had that huge IMAX camera in a rigging structure around it, so all the weight was on the front of the car, which was dragging the ground the whole time. So every bump that I hit would throw the car out of control, so it felt like I was breaking the sound of speed!Ē

ďWith 3D, you canít have people move across the screen really fast, because they just strobe. So the challenge for me was how do I capture the speed of the cars? So we put the camera on the track.Ē

ďIíd be lying to you if I told you that I donít get scared when I race. My worst crash was in 2001 in New York. My brakes went out going into a hairpin corner, and I was doing close to 160 mph. I went straight off the track and over the sand trap, and landed at the base of the wall. Luckily for me they had Styrofoam soft walls in place, which I honestly believe saved my life.Ē

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience

Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #642, April 2004 cover

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