How do I roll a car?



I'm working on a short that calls for a car that the actor is driving to hydro-plane and roll-over. How can this be done safely? We will be using a early 90's Ford Taurus.


New member
How can this be done safely?

1. Hire a stunt-person.

2. Do it as CG.

3. Figure out a way you can cut to the upside-down car without having to show the roll. However, even if you do that remember to remove anything potentially harmful before turning the car over (e.g. battery, gas, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze etc). Better yet, cut the whole thing down to a bare shell.

4. Shoot from the front with a green-screen in the rear windows and then add rotating exterior footage in the windows afterwards. That's likely to look naff for obvious reasons, though with some camera shake, CG 'debris', fast cuts to other shots and good acting you might make it work.


New member
well all i can say is create a pneumatic launchers this is wat they use in movies put it to side of vehicle they activate it and it flips car over, but this is just idea as it is a bit expensive


Learn how to use the E-Brake really well. 8)

Ha, just kidding. I would probably go with MarkG's number 4 suggestion.


New member
Hmm, I'm curious what you come up with, let us know! Here's my suggestion...

Wet road, shoot car going into a slide (this is dangerous, have a supervisor and medical avail on standby). Shoot a plate w/ camera move from say 90deg to the left (as if looking from passenger to driver) to full forward and quick tilt down (ie POV pass to driver as car skids sideways and then rolls over). Shoot in-car of driver w/ greenscreen and key in camera plate of rollover beginning.

Shoot a model at high speed (frame rate dep. on model scale) of a model performing same rollover. This could be shot overhead and matted by roto or GS to an "aerial shot" like what you'd get from a helicopter once you key in the plate of the roadway or something that looks close to the area you're shooting in. And finally, if possible, rent a junker from a junk yard and have crew rock the junker to shoot the "landing" or "rolling end" w/ talent inside the car. You should only need the cab for this, no engine or anything else.

This should give you atleast a 4shot sequence to use.

Anyways, that was my penny's worth. Let us know how you finally do the shot, curious to see what you come up with...


New member
does the story base on the rolling of this car, or can it simply clip a side barrier and have a brutal crash? rolling the car is gonna be a b**** but if you do go the greenscreen route id love to know

Andy Fordham

The most important thing is safety.
What is the budget, and whats the location required.

If there isnt a budget to do it safely, then revert to creative camerawork.

Creative editing, and rotation of the camera can be effective.

A tilt of the car on base boards for a 1/4 second shot will give the effect that the car is turning over, so a few of those well put together you may have a good shot.


New member
take 1 will be the skid or impact. take 2 will be the car hitting the flip ramp (just a ramp on one side of the car) and rolling. You'll find the cut point in post. If the car is caged, you can drive it. If not, just line it up and ghost ride that old hooptie.
Do be careful though. No stunt goes exactly as planned.
hence the adrenaline/fun.

Mr Taylor

New member
It's pretty risky.
Really needs a pro to do it.
I did one years ago when I was young and stupid.
I used a ramp and drove it myself.
It went over pretty easy.
But the screen totally smashed and the roof was squashed down to the door on one side.
Would never do that agian.
plus the car will tend to spin on it's roof don't expect it to go straight.

Very dangerous... no amature should try this.
I'm only alive by dumb luck.