Ever wondered how Hollywood films with overblown (*cough* Jerry Bruckheimer *cough*) budgets film car chases at NASCAR speeds? Behold, the robotic “Russian Arm,” the stabilization device that’s essentially the much, much bigger, cooler older brother of the Steadicam.
Invented by equipment house Filmotechnic (which, as you can probably guess was founded by a Russian dude), the device weighs in at almost 700lbs and measures about 12 feet long. The “chase car” it’s typically mounted to is a modded Mercedes ML55 AMG because they SUVs handle well at high speeds. A camera crew rides in the car and consists of a driver, technician and operator controlling the 360o-swiveling machine with a joystick. With them inside are eight LCD monitors whose playbacks can be transmitted back to a film set as much as 300 meters away.
All in all, a pretty damn impressive technological feat.