Furious 7, along with defying every naming convention Hollywood has ever tried to establish, was by all standards of measurement, a pretty fucking good movie with critics lauding the movie for its practical effects and for somehow handling the death of Paul Walker with far more grace and sensitivity than you’d expect from a film where The Rock elbow drops a predator drone using an ambulance. In regards to the former, it turns out that one of the film’s best stunts was almost never filmed for a really stupid reason.
The stunt we’re obviously talking about is when Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, sprint-leaps from the top of a bus that is mid-way through sliding off a cliff onto the back of a powersliding supercar. A scene so ridiculously over the top, we couldn’t actually think of a way to use hyperbole to make it sound stupider.
With the exception of removing a few wires and the stuntman’s gigantic, pendulous balls from frame, most of what you’re seeing in that GIF actually happened. As in, the crew of Furious 7 really pushed a bus off a fucking cliff and made a stuntman run along the top of it just because they could.
Apparently though when that stunt was first pitched to the producers by stunt coordinator, Spiro Razatos, they questioned why exactly he felt that it was necessary to film it on location in a place with actual mountains when they could just film it in Georgia and fix that shit in post. Razatos explained to the producers that if they used CGI to realise the stunt the audience “would know” and that the shot, regardless of how good it looked, would never have the same gravitas or impact as the real thing.
Which is when the producers and studio dropped the real reason they didn’t want to film one of the most ambitious stunts of a franchise known for constantly on-upping itself with its own stupidity, money. You see, the reason the producers wanted to film in Georgia and just add mountains and stuff using CGI was because Georgia offers film-makers pretty generous tax breaks whereas in Colorado, where the stunt was ultimately filmed, they don’t.
Razatos was understandably a little pissed that the production were sullying his artistic vision in a fucking Fast and Furious movie and pleaded with the producers to spend the extra money to let him shoot the scene for real, convincing them that the stunt would pay for itself when people saw it in the trailer. The studio eventually relented and approved the scene, presumably after realising how badass it would look, and gave Razatos a fat stack of money to film it with, which he promptly spent before sheepishly coming back to ask for some more so that he could throw a bunch of cars out the back of a plane. The studio, of course handed this money over because nowhere offers better tax breaks than the sky.