If you thought the last Gymkhana was mind blowing, check out the latest Gymkhana Four video. The team wanted to go Hollywood with the fourth installment. And in true Ken Block fashion they took the Monster Energy Ford Focus HFHV to a ridiculous new level of excitement.
The opening credit sequences hosts a variety of ’80s inspired titles like Top Gun and Back to the Future. Then it drops you off into a foggy, post airplane crash neighborhood of War of the Worlds set at Universal Studio’s back lot with an anti-lag popping Fiesta on the starting line.
Within the first moments, a GoPro camera array along the rear wing of Ken’s Fiesta provides very slick camera move. With another array that was positioned along the side of the Fiesta that wraps from a rear shot of the car to Ken’s face to a low angle of the cockpit. These shots were made up of 36 GoPro cameras at times and took up to 4 hours to rig!
In addition to the rig shots the Monster World Rally Team introduced what they call “fear cam”. During the opening master wide shots with a non-rigged Fiesta the team put the fresh to the scene camera rigger to the test. He was placed in the more sketchy location, like exits of turns and at the backside of the wall smash, with a 5d camera and a 200mm lens. They were able to get through his fear induced shaky hands a raw example of Ken’s driving.
Of course what would a Gymkhana video be without a Segway trick? The Monster World Rally Team knew they had to include it in the video, because its classic. But they needed a new spin on to make it unique. So they added a monkey operator and a surprise rocket launch to get the monkey to safety. For other new tricks they added three moving forklifts as the drifting obstacle. The hardest part about the tick was coordinating the three forklift drivers to stay at the same speed. To help, Ken laid down a practice donut to mark where the forklifts should be on his entrance. As you can see the forklifts weren’t exactly in the right spot. But Ken adjusted swinging the Fiesta around forklift blades that were just inches above the front windshield and nailing it in a first try.
Then it was off to meet the Sasquatch on a six-foot ladder. They were able to find a DC Shoes BMX rider Kelly Bolton that was brave enough to play the part of Sasquatch. The pro action sport athlete was comfortable with timing the jump from the six-foot ladder over Ken’s drifting Fiesta all while looking through the neck of the costume.
However Universal Studios could not allow Kelly Bolton to go through with the stunt without proper safety equipment and a team of stunt men to give the ok. The team eventually convinced them of doing it with out the safety harnesses in place to keep the action raw. With everything in place the stunt went off perfectly on the first go and everyone had to hold the applause till the scene ended.
These are just some of the highlights. The entire Gymkhana Four video is filled with creative, high stakes action with a touch of comedy. It is a classic and we have no idea how they are going to top it!