4

At around 00:50 we can see the golf ball flying through the street and camera following it through air and through bushes until it hits window.

How did they film it so realistically considering the movie is from 1996?

4

Just a guess, but I feel reasonably safe...

As it's quite obviously sped up I think we can pretty much eliminate it being anything other than a purely mechanical effect.

My guess would be a camera on a crane, attached to a moving vehicle. Presumably for safety/stability reasons, they could not travel it at the required speed, necessitating the post-process speeding-up of the footage.
Note that the first 3 shots are clearly following a road, only the last one isn't.

Another guess is that the fourth shot may have had the camera suspended on a wire. This is pre-drone technology & I think a helicopter shot would have been far too disruptive, at that height above a residential area. A wire would explain the straightness of the camera trajectory & why they couldn't go any closer to the building; presumably because they needed a back-pull wire on the camera & daren't let it hit the building.
You can also discern some slight swinging motion on the shot, which wouldn't be present using any other method I can think of.

  • Any info to support? – eYe May 9 '16 at 14:34
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    Nope, pure guess, based on what I can see on the shots. No other methods ring true for what you see in the final shots. Drones didn't exist, flying a helicopter near trees is too windy. Had they had something actually flying, or the 'in the trees over the road' shots also done by wire, they wouldn't have needed to speed it up. It is certainly shot on actual film, it's too early for digital, so the camera would be heavy. – disassociated May 9 '16 at 15:04
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    Note that this would be similar to how the speeder bike scenes were filmed for Return of the Jedi. In that case, cameras were walked through the redwood forests on steadicam harnesses filming at slow frame rates and shutter speeds. When the film was played back at normal speed, it created the appearance of very fast motion through the forest. I agree that the Happy Gilmour shot in question is almost certainly a sequence of moving crane/jig shots that were likely undercranked when filmed or sped up later. – Todd Wilcox May 9 '16 at 16:50

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