DC Shoes presents Ken Block’s Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground, San Francisco

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
DIRECTOR: Ben Conrad

Ken Block’s annual stunt ride through Americana landscapes brings this 5th edition of Gymkhana to the streets of San Francisco. A Bay Area native myself, this one rings true to my roots. Plus, it blows my mind that they were able to achieve all this crazy driving in a city that’s not all that driver friendly.

The short film is presented by Block’s own DC Shoes, and directed by Logan’s Ben Conrad. All the driving is entirely in camera, with no effects added.

However, that didn’t mean I had nothing to do. There were obvious goals that couldn’t be achieved on location, such as the checkered starting line painted on the Bay Bridge, or the absence of all people and background vehicles. Surprising, on that latter not, production managed to film S.F. as ghost town for many shots. But there were a few that needed spectator removals.

Also, I had to add or take away Go-Pro cameras mounted in the car’s interior, due to continuity issues. Sometimes cameras came loose, or they were placed in different locations to achieve the given shot. But most importantly, the cameras always needed to be present to show that what was occurring was real.

Lastly, there was quite a bit of grading and balancing of levels to get the various footage to feel consistent.