We had the good fortune to have a conversation with renowned sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp about how he modified the famous racing simulator, the ground-breaking camerawork created to capture all the action on the track, and where sparked his inspiration from historical racing movies. & nbsp,
The Gran Turismo Movie is a significant departure from the other movies you’ve directed; it’s neither based on one of your scripts nor futuristic sci-fi. Why did you choose this task?
Neill Blomkamp: So, it’s actually a dystopian science fiction script I sold to Sony that started the conversation. As the pre-production process went on I started to get very eager just to work on something, and at that point they said, “How about Gran Turismo?” My first thought was, “Wait, how do you make a film out of a racing simulator?” But I read the screenplay, and I personally own three [Nissan] R35 GTRs—I have a personal obsession with Nissan and the whole Nismo lineage—so I was immediately intrigued as a car lover.
In many other ways throughout my career, I’ve already been very near to video games, but Gran Turismo is the only one that treats the game like a game. It is based on a real-life incident involving Jann Mardenborough, who practiced driving by playing the game and then competing against many actual cars in the real world. Simply put, it’s a fantastic tale. & nbsp,
I also joined because, as you mentioned, my work tends to be much darker and more futuristic, but this film felt, well, very encouraging. I had never considered directing a film where the customers would leave the theater feeling inspired and invigorated. This was very alluring to me.
Are there any unique artistic difficulties or advantages to working within an IP like this? & nbsp,
The fact that there weren’t many executives who would say,” Well, actually, we think it should be like this ,” is a great thing. Somebody has preconceived notions about how things should be if you’re working on another IP with a more established world or story. However, Gran Turismo has a well-known IP that doesn’t have these preconceived ideas about how its film adaptation may look. This gave me a lot of room to be creative and even venture out and, you know, succeed. & nbsp,
What methods did you pay tribute to the game if there was no established plot or fictional universe to attract from? How did you turn the show’s DNA into something that could be used in a movie?
For starters, the movie tries to lead you on the process of someone who first encountered these famous tracks in person before applying what they learned from a modeling to an actual-world situation. I therefore made an effort to visually integrate those two things using a lot of the graphics from the GT activities, such as the ranges you would get while driving the line, the markers and checkpoints, as well as awards for leveling up and other similar features. & nbsp,
Then there are a ton of smaller easter eggs — tiny moments like mimicking some of the in-game victory poses that we forced our actors to perform in the film. We tried our best to leave useful cars all over the place whenever we could, and there are also a ton of cool cars for gearheads to space.
What are some of your treasured vehicles that appear on that note? & nbsp,
I mean, it’s significant to me that the movie opens with a Generation 1 NSX. I adore that cars with all of my heart. & nbsp,
At the other end of the spectrum, we already wanted some extremely glitzy options that would be fair spring eggs for cars enthusiasts, such as the Koenigsegg Gemera, a 4 person with 1700 watts that was still unpublished. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a Bugatti Rolls Royce.
It appears from the scant footage we’ve seen so far that some of the photography makes a direct allusion to the in-game fight camera. A fairly serious-looking equipment to shoot the cars at high speeds is already visible in the footage. Could you please explain your procedure to us here?
We doubled down on FPV uavs to have IMAX sensor-approved cameras because, in the end, it just came down to making something that would just be interesting to watch in a big movie theater. There is a lot of flying, high-speed aircraft work in the movie, and we used an arm-mounted pursuit vehicle. In this instance, we actually mounted it to an R35 GTR, which was able to keep up( pretty much ) with many of the GT3 vehicles in the movie.
You already have some interesting dynamic angles between that vehicle and the trailer work. However, I was already obsessed with mimicking camera angles that players have learned from the game, so we created an R1 rig that could spot a camera so that the whole car would fit inside the frame for the third-person chase perspective. & nbsp,
Our prank driver would recline so that we could mount a camera where his mouth should be in order to capture the vehicle’s POV( aircraft view ). We enjoyed giving the game smiles in these kinds of way.
There’s a rich history of movies that depict the on- and off-track drama of motorsport, from classics like Le Mans and Gran Prix to the more recent Ford vs. Ferrari. Which films in the genre did you look to for inspiration, if any?
Le Mans by Steve McQueen is the only movie I can truly mention and claim is specifically mentioned in Gran Turismo. That film is stupid, I tell you. You can see how quickly they are moving. Its level of danger is obvious. Sometimes the degree of car pollution is obvious. It is incredible.
They spend a lot of time advancing on each nature before the race— the hero, the monster, and the calendar— at the beginning of that film before it quickly begins to cross-cut between them. The McQueen antique served as the direct inspiration for a very similar scene between our hero and his adversaries in our movie.
In my movies, someone mainly explodes or a genetically modified creature is acting out. I simply never would have imagined making a race / sports film in the trillion years that I did. Saying it now is even more remarkable.
Following a complimentary email earlier this year, Gran Turismo 7 is now accessible on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, as well as PlayStation VR2. & nbsp,
This August, Gran Turismo will only be shown in cinemas.
By PlayStation Official blog (blog.playstation.com)