Few will actually get the chance to put the pedal to the metal in a McLaren. But if rally driver and director Jeff Zwart has his way, the whole world can come close to living that dream. With his short film FilmSpeed, Zwart has taken on the monumental task of capturing the visceral thrill of racing the McLaren 12C while filming gameplay footage from Forza Motorsport 5 — printed on 680 high-quality aluminum boards.
By combining the McLaren with the Phantom Flex cinema camera, Zwart's team and Microsoft teamed up to build one of the fastest camera cars in creation in an effort to create the world's speediest zoetrope. Pulling that off was a serious challenge, but Zwart, above all, wanted to put viewers in the driver's seat. Relying on his driving intuition (he's a racing legend, after all), he was able to consider the right speeds for hitting everything from hard corners to total straightaways, all in order to navigate the film's course. That intuition — and a lot of math — was channeled into how the zoetrope was laid out, how the short was filmed, and how Tanner Foust took on the track.
The same attention to detail and driving passion can be seen in Forza Motorsport 5 for the Xbox One, due out this November. In terms of visuals, you expect the most realistic and true-to-life graphics to date. Scratches on rotors. Worn concrete. Even hand-stitched leather. FilmSpeed was made to bring the realism of Forza Motorsport 5 to life.
It all comes together to deliver one singular purpose: Let gamers know what it feels like to drive 120 mph on a racetrack. Want to see for yourself? Pop your eyes topside and see the McLaren 12C in action as it brings Film Speed to life, for one. Then watch FilmSpeed right here to prepare for Forza Motorsport 5 on Xbox One.
Need more? Ray Wert was on the ground with Jeff Zwart himself to see FilmSpeed from behind-the-scenes. He's down in the comments to answer all your questions about what made this short happen. Ask away!
Andrew Kardon is a professional freelance writer who covers everything from video games to health care.