When the trailer for the new CHiPS movie dropped late last year, it managed to hint at being able to do a thing that many movies with motorcycles in them have often failed to; it looked as if people were actually riding them.
Now on the eve of the movie hitting cinemas, Dax Shepard – director and star of the film – has shared his opinion as to why most motorcycle scenes in movies have often left the audience wanting,
“If you’ve noticed there’s been a stunning lack of motorcycle chase movies. There’s almost none, really.
A lot of reason for that is they are really hard to film because a traditional camera car can’t go where a motorcycle can go. You’re forced to show it on sticks going by or this or that.”
So what’s changed?
“Now, we have drones.
So, like, when we are going up staircases, we’re flying a drone directly behind the guy. We had helicopters, we had the Porsche cayenne pursuit vehicle, the huge Russian arm that booms out at 360 degrees. So, we had all these tools.
Even the tiny red camera that we could mount on the bike, we could mount it facing me, and we invented this thing that’s never been in a movie.
It was meant for ‘CHiPs.’ It was a self-leveling gyroscope ring. The camera was on the front wheel. It was funky weight-wise for me because it was on the front wheel, so every time I moved, it moved. It was tricky.”
As for the riding? The probable reason for it looking so real is that the actors did most of it,
“I wrote this so I could do this stuff. This is my hobby.
The idea of shutting down a highway and doing this stuff and the cops going like this (thumbs up) at the end of a take was my fantasy.
I did a ton of stuff. I didn’t do the 100 foot jump, but I did wheelies, endos, rode up the hill, rode on the beach, rode up and down staircases and rode fast.”
And what about his co-star, Michael Pena?
“Michael had never ridden a motorcycle. So he learned to ride. He was on a highway going 75mph saying three, four pages of dialogue to me.
So, that was way too dangerous. I should have never put him in that situation, but he did a great job.”
And there’s still reverence for the original TV show,
“As a kid growing up in Michigan, which was great 8 months of the year, turning on a show that was sunshine and palm trees and bikinis for an hour with motorcycles…
Two dudes that shouldn’t have been friends that were good friends…
All of that to me was magical. Those are the three elements that stayed from the show and made it into the movie.”
The CHiPS movie lands in cinemas on March 24th and is rated a 15 in the UK.