34

How did they made this scene?

We can see that Trinity is driving the bike in opposite direction with high speed and closely passing other vehicles.

Is it fully CGI made?

  • 7
    it looks like high speed... that's part of the trick too – Luciano Sep 15 '17 at 8:51
  • 8
    Watching that scene again, I just realized that Morpheus has really long reach. imgur.com/a/6xaWR => imgur.com/a/Nk8Zx – zzzzBov Sep 15 '17 at 14:39
  • 3
    If you have the physical discs, there are extras that show how they made that scene. The part with the agent jumping and causing the big crash was mostly practical effects too, which is impressive. All told, there were fewer CGI effects in that whole scene than you might think at first. – user9311 Sep 15 '17 at 15:27
  • 2
    @zzzzBov That and the sword jumped down about 5 feet from where he stabbed it in. – Kevin Sep 15 '17 at 20:07
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    I think the phrase "bike riding" in the title should be replaced with "motorcycle". At least in AmE, "bike riding" more often means "riding a bicycle". – Todd Wilcox Sep 16 '17 at 3:24
45

It was partially CGI.

They used a freeway to shoot this scene and of course, a stunt double performed this. It took three months and 1.4 miles long track to shoot this scene.

From Telegraph(emphasis mine),

Indeed, filming the main chase took three months and a freeway was built for the film – 1.4 miles of three-lane looped highway

From The Independent (Thanks to Roger Lipscombe)

The Wachowskis built, from scratch, and at a cost of $2.5m (£1.25m), a fake freeway on a disused naval base at Alameda in California. The mile-and-a-half road was fenced with a 19ft wall, made from timber and plywood, designed to look like concrete.

Debbie Evans did the stunt here. From this interview(emphasis mine),

MATRIX: What brought you to THE MATRIX sequels?

DEBBIE: They needed a girl who could ride one of the Ducati 996s really well, and I’ve done a few jobs recently on the Ducatis.

MATRIX: What was your reaction when you first arrived and saw the Freeway set?

DEBBIE: I thought it was great, because most of the time we have to shut down streets. You get a location that’s a practical location, then we have to shut down and wait for the police officers to get in place and everything else to happen, and then you have people coming in who shouldn’t be coming in, dogs running around, and all kinds of distractions. Just to be able to know we had the set was so great. It’s just remarkable what they built, it really is, I think they should leave it up because other shows will use it; it’s a great location.

  • The Independent says Alameda, CA, rather than Australia: independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/…, as does Wikipedia (I linked to the citation): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Roger Lipscombe Sep 15 '17 at 11:02
  • Using a freeway of length 1.4 miles at naval base is common both articles. – A J Sep 15 '17 at 11:12
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    Sure, but it wasn't Australia. It was ex-NAS Alameda in California. It's a lot easier to find photos if you search for the correct place. – Roger Lipscombe Sep 15 '17 at 11:17
  • The Independent one appears to be true. – A J Sep 15 '17 at 11:23
  • 8
    Mythbusters would often use this location for various things. – Captain Man Sep 15 '17 at 13:06
19

They built a freeway out at the old Alameda Naval Air Station using the runways. Here is a Google Earth photo from 2002.

enter image description here

The freeway was lined with pop-up walls, and two actual bridge overpasses were built, all as a temporary structure. All that was removed shortly after filming was complete. Those lines are a 3-lane-with-shoulder freeway, which goes to show how wide the runways are.

You can plainly see five freeway entry/exits, and the curves at the ends meant to conceal the abrupt end of the freeway.

The cut-corner (not part of the runways) remains, the marks have faded.

CGI removed or altered the Port of Oakland cranes, Bay Bridge, and Oakland and San Francisco skylines. Obviously some of the vehicles are CGI, since the camera goes through them.


You may also remember this spot (imagine no fences)

enter image description here

This is the entrance to a tunnel to Alameda, which was recast as an entrance to the freeway. The "To 101" sign remained there for several years after the filming, to the delight of film fans.

  • I bet someone stole the sign, like how the Mad Max Pursuit Special was eroded by souvenir hunters. – Criggie Sep 15 '17 at 23:27
9

Some of it was CGI.

The driving, as well as the road, are genuine enough. But at least some (if not most) of the vehicles are added in post-production.

In the clip you reference, review the camera shots around 3:09 in slow motion. Clearly, those trucks cannot be real, or the camera work is beyond my understanding.

Obviously, weaving through traffic is a lot easier if you add the traffic after the fact...

  • 4
    The dvd reveals that most of the vehicles were actually there, except the ones very close to the motorcycle. The ones close to the motorcycle were GCI. There's little marks on the pavement to tell her exactly where and when to weave to the sides. – Mooing Duck Sep 15 '17 at 18:25
  • MooingDuck is correct, and I would also add that they used the usual trick of painting the dashes on the road smaller than normal and driving slower than highway speeds to compensate, to make it safer to act/film while also making it appear that everything was moving faster than it was. That is similar to the trick they used to film the highway scene in Lethal Weapon 4 (I think, might have been 3, where Mel Gibson is fighting on an upside-down table dragged behind a semi truck). – user9311 Sep 18 '17 at 4:01

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