Alongside classic models such as the Audi RS 7 Sportback, the team behind The Gray Man chose to use the Audi RS e-tron GT and the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback. “The Russo brothers had a clear vision of the characters, how they should act and, of course, what vehicles they needed for their missions,” recalls Steve Taylor. Based on that, he got together with the set designers and producers to discuss what they could achieve with the vehicles, especially the electric models. “There are a lot of people involved when it comes to shooting cars in action. The stunt coordinator gets together with the director and comes up with an initial plan for the vehicle’s movements. And that’s where I come in,” says Taylor, meaning the moment he and his team start prepping the vehicles to deliver the desired performance.
Production models used in film scenes are adapted in advance to operate and function in line with the film’s requirements. “You have to understand that there is no straightforward or systematic way to make a movie,” says Taylor of the work on set. Instead, you need flexibility, a flair for improvising and, of course, creativity to get results. That was certainly true of the custom-made “pod car rig”, which was mounted on top of the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback and played a key role in making The Gray Man. Reminiscent of a racing seat, the rig is a kind of cage mounted on the vehicle’s roof that allows a precision driver to sit on top of the car and take control of the vehicle. A pod car rig unlocks a whole new world of potential vehicle interior shots,” says Taylor. There was no need to rebuild the interior of the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback. All that was necessary was for a specialist team, in close consultation with Audi, to undertake the complex process of disabling the original steering wheel and pedals. That meant everyone behind and in front of the camera could focus fully on shooting the scene. “As an extra bonus,” Taylor adds, “this lets the camera explore a 360-degree view inside the vehicle, opening up new perspectives on the action.”