Trigonometry at High-Speed

Today’s student guest blogger is Adriana Garcia.

My love for films has taken me to investigate more of the math involved when determining the camera shots needed in specific scenes. In a high-speed car scene, a certain camera angle is needed to fully portray the speed of the car while showing the audience the car going from point A to point B in a viewable amount of time. For example the 2001 film, The Fast and the Furious features many car races. Known for its fun and exciting scenes, the film’s unexpected popularity gave the film a total of $142,542,950 in the box office. But for a specific car race shown in the film between an orange Supra and a red Ferrari 355 Spider, the Ferrari was shown to run a quarter of a mile (1320 feet) in 13.7 seconds. In this scene, what camera angle will be needed to capture the true essence of the car race with the length of 1320 feet off of a 35 feet building? [Ed. note: to clarify, the car is racing either towards or away from the camera.]

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