Gavin Scott | Absolutely Anything Diary Day 5
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07 Apr Absolutely Anything Diary Day 5

We’re out of the studio today! Just round the corner in Cressida Road, where the whole adventure begins as Neil gets knocked off his bike by a passing van and is zapped by the alien ray which gives him his supernatural powers. This could be an expensive scene involving major stunts, but Terry has come up with a wonderfully simple way to make it happen. One camera is at the bottom of a gently sloping street; another, attached to what looks like a modified golf cart, is at the top of the street where Simon Pegg is on his bike and a blue van is right beside him. On the call of action Simon starts pedaling downhill, with the van just behind him. At the bottom of the hill as Simon turns left, so does the van, but taking the corner much faster, so as far as the following camera is concerned, Simon vanishes behind the van.

In the finished film there’ll be a horrible clunking noise at this point, and we’ll cut to Simon falling into frame as if he’s fallen off his bike, convincing people he’s been hit. But in reality all that’s happened is that Simon and the van have gone round the corner side by side, with no risk to life or limb whatsoever. Bravo Terry!

Despite the simplicity of the idea, it takes a good couple of hours to get the speeds of the bike, the van and the camera car all co-ordinated – but when we do, everything goes off perfectly.

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