The folks over at Valkyr Productions have spent the last decade trying to create the “perfect” rig for capturing car-to-car footage at high speeds. This is the story of how they turned an old BMW M5 into the ultimate chase car, capable of capturing smooth footage at speeds of over 130MPH.
They dubbed their creation the Bavarian Ranch Hand, and it bucks the standard operating procedure of mounting a camera crane to a high-speed SUV like the Lamborghini Urus.
Instead, the folks at Valkyr took a 2002 BMW e39 M5 and retrofitted it with a 3-axis dampening Flowcine Black Arm and a DJI Ronin 2, which together are used to operate an ARRI Alexa Mini. Once set up, they put the car through its paces in speedways from Willow Springs to Laguna Seca, chasing cars like the McLaren 720S and the one-off hypercar Czinger 21C.
“This chase car project wasn’t a master plan, or even designed on paper – It was just the culmination of trial and error and getting carried away with it all,” explains Valkyr Films director Jeremy Heslup. “It was built not as a rental, but as a statement and a way to achieve speeds beyond traditionally found in the Russian arm/Crane Car platform.”
Check out the BTS video above to see the Ranch Hand in action and learn more about how this unique camera-car came to be. And if you want to see some even faster creations, check out this Nissan GT-R we shared back in February, or the Bugatti Chiron camera car that shot this footage at 250MPH.