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FAST AND FURIOUS

Shooting on Location
When returning to the origins of The Fast and the Furious, the filmmakers knew they would be remiss not to revisit the city that helped originate the culture of street racing. Empty warehouses and long-desolate stretches of blacktop barely illuminated by city lights—in the easternmost section of downtown Los Angeles—once again hosted the party for the sexy underground set. The majority of filming during the 85-day shoot was spent on location in L.A. and within its surrounding suburbs. Some stage work was done in the cities of Sylmar and Culver City.

Just as important was the return of some of the previous locations from The Fast and the Furious— specifically, the most recognizable locale from the first installment, the Toretto house and surrounding neighborhood of Echo Park in L.A. The week of night shoots had cast and crew, as well as the growing crowd of onlookers, snapping photos, feeling nostalgic and energized. According to producer Moritz, this was only one of "many days on the set when I remembered back to the first film and felt that same camaraderie we had then.”

But returning to these locations eight years later, the filmmakers were faced with a changing landscape. Although the Toretto house was still standing, the new owners had torn down the garage in the rear Dom ramps his Chevelle while Brian (far right) prepares to race his Skyline. of the property, which had housed Dom's beloved Dodge Charger. Not a problem for production designer Ida Random, however. Her team restored it down to the smallest detail.

Los Angeles, Miami and Tokyo served as the backdrop for the first three films, and now Mexico has the spotlight as the setting for Fast & Furious. Latin culture is also woven throughout the film—from the heart-thumping opening sequence in the Dominican Republic (DR) to the thundering chase sequences across the Mexican desert and into smugglers' tunnels.

It was Diesel's idea to incorporate the DR as one of the locations for Fast & Furious. References to the Wild West have always been a part of the series, and the raw beauty of the DR served as an ideal hideaway for Dom and Letty as they build a new life together south of the border. To re-create the DR's diverse regions, Lin's team lensed in several Southern California locations.

The opening sequence begins with a fuel-tanker heist of a land train rolling along a DR highway, setting the standard for the film's no-holds-barred action. Letty and Dom lead a team of racers that plots the intricate job. The filmmakers discussed with writer Morgan the fuel problems in that area and how gas was an enormous commodity to regions that could be left without it…often for weeks at a time.

Diesel explains: "What Dom has been so skilled in doing, and has a reputation for in the underworld, is robbing things in motion. He's a modern-day bandit, very much like the stagecoach bandits. When we see him, he is getting gas for not only himself, but for a whole neighborhood that's been subject to the exorbitant fuel prices.” The racing tankers Dom and Letty are after were shot on the winding, mountainous roads of the Templin Highway— alongside the Golden State Freeway, north of Los Angeles.

The torch-lit coastline of San Pedro, south of Los Angeles, played home to the post-heist beach party Dom and Letty throw after they successfully score the fuel (and avoid an almost certain death). Naturally, the scene was filled with the requisite sexy, scantily clad beauties partying amongst stunning cars.

Filming the Mexico scenes was two-fold. The majority of photography for the Mexico scenes was conducted on the dusty, tumbleweed landscape of Antelope Valley's Acton and Canyon County, while the more atmospheric elements of the Mexico lo

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