Marvel movies have not only ascended to the top of the box office, but the productions have also sped past the competition for desired opportunities of actors and stunt drivers.
"If you get the opportunity to be driving in one of their movies you are not lucky, you are very good," Greg Tracy said. "Comicbook movies are the pinnacle of our business right now.
"There is so much effort being put into every little detail in superhero movies because the visuals are so critical."
Tracy has driven in Black Panther, The Avengers, Spider-Man 3, Jack Reacher, The Fast and the Furious franchise, as well as The Bourn Ultimatum. His off-screen credentials include winning the Baja 1000, being the only person to complete the Pikes Peaks Hill Climb in under 10 minutes in both a car and a motorcycle -- at the event where he is a seven-time world champion -- as well as breaking 210 mph on a motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
His most recognizable shot was during his time as Spider-Man, where he was riding a motorcycle inches away from cars to allow the CG designers to make it look like Spider-Man was swinging down the city streets.
"Any time you are doing a shot like that, everything is so well rehearsed," he said. "It isn't like you only have one chance to do it because you are on a tight budget. They will shoot eight hours of footage to get the exact right 15-seconds for those movies. It isn't anything like smaller projects where they will shoot two hours of footage for a 90-minute movie."
Tracy was joined by Rich Rutherford at a Nissan media event to showcase its GT-R, 370z, and Maxima.
Rutherford is a movie veteran of 30 years and has participated in Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, as well as Jurassic World, Transformers, John Wick, and many other movies in the geek-chic genre.
Most recently he was the getaway driver for Klaw in Black Panther. He said that everything that Ryan Coogler did as the director was top tier.
"I have worked with a lot of people and there are a lot of people out there that want to act like a director, and just be gruff and nasty to work with for no reason," he said. "Ryan was just the best. Honestly, he was fantastic. He was super nice, cool, calm, collected. He knew what his vision was and how he wanted to accomplish it."
Rutherford described his time on Black Panther as being very organized, even if it was more time-consuming than other projects.
He said that there was a minimum of three takes per shot -- which is not unusual -- but there were others that took upwards of eight. He added that the Klaw scenes were about three weeks of action shooting in Korea plus additional green-screen time in Atlanta.
"There were things that we did time and again that didn't even get used," he said. "There were some parts that I thought were so cool that got cut, but they don't pay me to make those decisions. Ryan did a fantastic job of getting what he wanted out of it.
"Between my time on Black Panther and Baby Driver, I have been lucky to work with some people recently that have had a vision and a great attitude. Those are people that you want to work with."
Tracy seconded that opinion, recalling times when he was driving for Black Panther and being tasked with having someone mounted on his roof.
"The trust between the second unit directors, the stunt coordinators, and all the drivers and stunt people is all heightened when there is something really big happening," he said. "We had 20 guys walking off a half-mile event. The spin-outs, the choreography; being able to visualize the in-camera action and understanding that just being a few miles-per-hour off of your mark can put people in harms way is very real.0comments
"It also becomes hard when they tell you to bring more energy but they block it out for 30. Going 45 will get more energy, but it could get people hurt, so you do your best to give your all but not risk injury. What I have seen from those big budget movies is that from the top down they are getting the best. The best director to the best ice bucket filler. It is why they are having the success that they are having, no detail is unimportant."
Black Panther celebrates its home release on May 15, 2018 after completing a massive box office run where it eclipsed the $1 billion mark in earnings.