The most common form of the surprise car crash shot has the camera inside a moving car, with the frame showing the driver or a passenger in profile and (past them) a side window framing the world beyond. Suddenly, the front of another vehicle slides into view as it collides with the side of the car. (This is the shot asked about in "How do they create the side-impact-crash “from inside the car” shots?".)

My question: where was this shot first used?

Examples of the shot from films:

Adaptation (2002)

Whiplash (2014)

The pilot of "Six Feet Under" (aired 2001-06-03) has a surprise car crash near the beginning of the episode, though I've yet to find a public clip online.

  • Darnit, I thought it was Cold Feet, but that's probably 2003 - Newspaper article looking back at the character, with video
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 8:19
  • From browsing the TV Tropes article, Buster Keaton used a variant of that trope way back in 1925, though he slams head-on into a tree rather than getting T-boned by another car, so I don't think it counts. Other than that I can't see any examples that predate Adaptation., though I'm sure there must be one.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 10:11
  • @F1Krazy: indeed, "Seven Chances" uses a different shot than is being asked about.
    – outis
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 18:42
  • I don't know if Adaptation was the first or not, but early 2000s seems about right for when I started seeing this shot get used. And I recall it seemed to explode in popularity very shortly after the first time I saw it.
    – Steve-O
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 20:37
  • Did you check that door for Heat, 1995? They're not in motion, but we see the tow truck coming through their side window. Whatever the name for this kind of shot is, that's what the editor was tying to do; the, impending side-crash of doom. - Watching the scene now with a critical eye, it's kinda sloppy. But 27y ago in the theater, it pulled it off really well, and was my first thought reading the title.
    – Mazura
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 19:34


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