Stepping into the World of Fast & Furious with Picture Car Coordinator, Dennis McCarthy

April 18, 2018
Dennis McCarthy - Featured

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Before the grand opening of Fast & Furious – Supercharged, the finishing touches were made on the attraction in Universal Studios Florida.

These final touches include the installation of 12 vehicles from the Fast & Furious movie franchise and three vehicles which are unique to the attraction, like Letty’s Turbo Truck. These cars were designed by Dennis McCarthy, Picture Car Coordinator for the supercharged rides you’ve seen in the Fast & Furious films.

First Look Inside Fast & Furious - Supercharged

I’m originally from Detroit, MI and grew up with a father that is obsessed with cars. So, I was more than thrilled for the opportunity to ask Dennis McCarthy some questions.

What are you most excited to see featured in Universal Orlando’s newest attraction Fast & Furious – Supercharged?

  • Dennis: Everything about Fast & Furious – Supercharged is exciting! Of the vehicles, the Off-Road Charger (featured in Custom Gear) and Nissan GTR are my two favorites you’ll see in the attraction.

What is it like to see your designs inside of the theme park attraction?

  • Dennis: It’s a great It will be a very different experience for the fans to see the cars in person, opposed to on the big screen.

Fast & Furious - Supercharged Exterior

You’ve worked on cars for the Fast & Furious films and now Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Was there a difference in designing cars for the film compared to the attraction?

  • Dennis: The design aspect of the cars was already in place prior to the attraction. The main difference would be that we put more emphasis into the mechanical aspect during filming. For the attraction, on the other hand, all the effort goes into the cosmetic side of things. The camera can hide many flaws, which is a huge help when we are thrashing the cars day after day and doing quick repairs to keep the cameras rolling. For the attraction, everyone is going to be up close and personal with the cars, so they need to look their best.

Where do you find your inspiration with creating and designing these incredible cars?

  • Dennis: The inspiration for the cars is primarily character driven. Over the years, fans have learned what type of car each returning character would want to drive. It’s always my goal for the audience to know, without saying, which car is for who. Other factors are environment. Is our cast racing on the street or driving off road? Also, what part of the world we’re in plays a big part.

 Fast & Furious - Supercharged Queue Props 2

Looking back on your time with the Fast & Furious films, what is your favorite moment about the experience?

  • Dennis: Wow! That’s a tough one. There have been so many, from scouting for drift cars in Japan to sliding vehicles across a frozen lake in Iceland. One of my all-time favorite experiences would have to be the train heist sequence from Fast 5. We shot this in Parker, Arizona. The action with the train, heist truck and Corvette was incredible. About 99% of what you saw on screen is exactly what took place. An added bonus is that the Colorado River running through Parker is one of my favorite vacation spots on the planet.

Out of all the cars you designed for Fast & Furious, attraction and film, do you have a favorite?

  • Dennis: It seems that with every new installment I end up with a new favorite. For the attraction, the Off-Road Charger is my hands down favorite. Since setting up Orlando, we have built the Ice Charger for The Fate of the Furious. It’s a very tough call between the two.

We’re very excited to have Dennis McCarthy’s designs featured in Fast & Furious – Supercharged.

Come see these incredible cars in-person yourself. Visit Universal Studios Florida for your chance to join the Fast & Furious Family!

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