Back To Basics: Shooting Furious Outlaws On Film

Chapter One: Furious Outlaws

If you guys have not already seen or heard about it, Sung Kang and Magnus Walker released a film during SEMA 2016. For Furious Outlaws, they swapped their favorite cars and drove the absolute piss out of them together on the canyon roads surrounding Los Angeles.

The guys invited me to come while they were filming the video so I could capture some photos of the action.

Seeing as both cars were originally from the early ’70s before digital cameras were invented, I figured it would only be appropriate to shoot this feature entirely on negative film.

Before we go any further, those that haven’t seen the film yet need to watch it, and those that have might want to do so again. Hit play above.

Don’t you just love the way these two canyon carvers sound? While both cars barely make over 200 horsepower apiece, we have all learned that power is not the be all and end all of a great driving car. It’s about balance and feeling.

I find that I have the same sort of mentality when I choose my film cameras. I am a stickler for how they should look and feel in my hands, as well as how they should perform. I decided to load one single roll of black and white film in my Leica M6 for this project, and only brought along a 35mm lens.

For the longer shots, I decided to use my Nikon FM2/T, which I think is the world’s best analog camera. Using a battery just for metering, it has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second, which is just so amazing to me. The titanium body and shutter curtain make for a durable body and it’s lightweight as well. I also brought my 50mm f/1.2 which is Nikon’s fastest lens.

For color film, I went with what was easily available at my local camera store. I picked up two rolls of Kodak Ektar 100, which worked perfectly for shooting in the afternoon.

Sung is such an easy guy to work with. The first time I met him he offered to let me drive the FuguZ, and being a Z guy myself, I could not resist.

I was one of the first people outside of him and the builders who had a chance to get behind the wheel, and I loved every moment of it.

Filming the video for eGarage was my good buddy Frazer Spowart from Autocraft Media. I have to thank him too, as he usually gives me the exclusive to shoot these types of productions.

I met up with Sung and Magnus mid-shoot, so they already had plenty to say about each other’s car.

While Sung is not your traditional car fanatic, he does have a passion for automobiles and that’s what matters.

I also think he’s single-handedly changed the worldwide 240Z market for the better. I’ve already owned my 240Z for 11 years, and in that time I’d never seen one displayed at the SEMA Show. This year there were three.

Just because Sung was a part of the Fast and the Furious franchise does not mean that he instantly garnered respect from the car community. The late Paul Walker worked very hard to earn respect by becoming a real enthusiast and also getting behind the wheel of a time attack car.

Of course, Sung is nothing like Paul, but I think he really gets it. I am so glad that he’s as passionate about cars as he is the culture behind them.

Chapter Two: Rolling Shots

One of Frazer’s favorite things to capture are rolling shots, so we put together a game plan and rolled out. Magnus and Sung were to chase us as we hung out the back of a minivan.

I love using film, but it’s definitely hard to transition from shooting machine-gun style to being very careful with my shots. The added difficulty of manual focus also makes it that much more fun.

The great thing about shooting at this location is the nearly limitless amount of angles that you can get on the canyon roads running through the San Gabriel mountains. You could spend your lifetime here just trying to find all the different shots that are possible.

Seeing as I was going to shoot into the near darkness, I figured Ilford HP5 black and white film would be perfect as I can push it to 800 ISO no problem. I actually got this rolling shot at 1/15th of a second with the Leica. I developed the black and white film myself in my sink, but I sent the color C-41 out to a local place for processing.

As fun as it was shooting out of the back of the van, it was quite difficult and I really only captured two good slow-shutter shots with my short lenses, this with the 50mm on the Nikon and the previous black and white shot from the Leica.

The sun was setting and I was running out of light, so I snapped a few more with the Nikon on color before having to switch to black and white completely.

Having driven both cars myself, there is really no way to pick a favorite. Both drive completely differently, but the power delivery is quite similar. The brakes on the 911 are much better, but that just comes down to a tuning issue; once the 240Z is dialed for the track, it should stop even better.

It was fun to watch the pair show each other photos from the day, as shot on their phones. Everyone’s a photographer, right?

It was already dark and these two car nerds were still swapping stories, so it was the perfect end to an epic day in the canyons.

Despite being a Hollywood actor, Sung is so humble and good to his fans. Because while he is not obligated to take selfies and make small talk with anyone that came up to him on this day, he did not hesitate one bit. It seemed like there was a non-stop supply of fans too, which was pretty amazing given we were in such a secluded area.

I also have to thank Magnus for all the access he has extended to Speedhunters over the years; he is definitely a car culture ambassador and it helps to have people like him supporting our efforts.

I didn’t finish my two rolls of color film shooting Furious Outlaws, so I figured I would shoot a bit more on another day. For that, I called up a few friends and had them join in on a little canyon carving session near my home up Azusa Canyon. Enjoy the bonus images!

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto

Bonus Chapter: Cutting Room Floor