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Monday, 17 March 2014 23:14

Steven Spielberg and Director Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed

Written by  Rebecca Davidson
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The recently released action film Need for Speed is all about amazingly high speeds, spectacular car wrecks and authentic racing action — all of which was done without any CGI enhancements. Directed byScott Waugh (Act of Valor) and based on the hugely popular video game series, the film chronicles a cross-country race against time when a mechanic (played by Aaron Paul) sets out for revenge in a high-stakes underground racing tournament after he’s framed for manslaughter by a wealthy ex-NASCAR driver (Dominic Cooper). 

Steven Spielberg and his team at DreamWorks SKG first heard the racing story when it was pitched by Writers George and John Gatins. “They had done a wonderful job in finding a story that could either live in the slipstream of the Need for Speed video franchise, and at the same time live totally outside of that as a real legitimate story,” says Spielberg. “That was the first thing that really impressed us.” Waugh was equally as impressive at the helming the production, as he was all about focusing on the cars and giving audiences a real experience. “Authenticity is all about realism,” Waugh explains. “The theatrical experience is supposed to be somewhere you go and escape, but I also think it’s a place we go to identify with. For myself, I really like to get back to realism and really not have any CGI in my films.”

Spielberg recognized that Waugh and his vision created the perfect formula to bring this story to life. “Scott came in with an idea and a vision to do Need for Speed without a lot of CGI because it’s very easy today to do cars and explosions and crashes and things all on the computer,” says Spielberg. “Scott wanted to do all he practically can do that was safe, and he came and made that presentation to us. It just harkened me back to The Chase and Bullet and the great car chase in The French Connection. [Scott proposed that] he could take that genre with real cars going pretty fast but safely do that in a contemporary movie without falling back on the computer. And he did [with Need for Speed]. He absolutely did it.”



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