Seven modified 2014 Ford Mustangs were built for filming and promotion in addition to an early prototype 2015 Mustang fastback.
For Waugh, a former stuntman, the visceral experience generated by the performance, sound and visual presence of Ford Mustang makes it a natural choice for the hero car role in the highly anticipated movie.
Waugh’s goal is to tell a character-driven story steeped in car culture that gives the audience a genuine perspective of what it’s like to drive at high speeds and in close proximity to other cars.
“My philosophy has always been you can’t break physics,” said Waugh. “If you do, it hurts the story, because then the physics don’t apply to the characters either.” said Waugh. “Doing practical stunts with cars takes more up-front preparation to set up the shots and ensure safety, but the end result is worth it.”
Computer generated imagery enables today’s filmmakers to produce virtually any sequence their imaginations can conjure. While that’s a great approach to creating science fiction, fantasy or superhero sequences that don’t exist in the physical world, it doesn’t deliver the authenticity Waugh is after with “Need for Speed.”
Starting with “Grand Prix” in 1966, “Bullitt” in 1968 then continuing through the 1970s, a new style for filming cars included mounting cameras on and inside the vehicle, giving viewers a first-person perspective of the action. Waugh and director of photography, Shane Hurlbut used many of the same techniques making “Need for Speed,” in combination with the latest camera technology.