A young woman walks a slackline between two Volvo trucks driving at full speed: not even in Hollywood has this stunt ever been attempted. Now the film about the stunt is a massive success on YouTube and within nine days, more than 3.8 million people have seen the film.
The woman on the line is American slackliner Faith Dickey. She is the world record-holder in highlining, a young sport which is all about walking on a line as high and far as possible.
"I’m used to heights, long lines and lines that sway in the wind, but those lines are firmly anchored to cliff-faces. Walking a line attached to two moving points is something quite different," says Faith Dickey.
Never been done before
When the Hollywood team behind the film first heard the idea they were dumbstruck.
"And here was I thinking that every imaginable stunt had already been done. The fact is that nobody has ever before walked a line between two moving trucks. It felt like an enormous challenge, and it’s challenges that get me going," says Peter Pedrero, who normally works with stunts in films such as James Bond, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Oscar-nominated director behind the film
The film’s director is Oscar-nominated Henry Alex Rubin, whose feature film Disconnect starring Sweden’s Alexander Skarsgård is currently playing in cinemas.
"My favourite kind of shoot is when someone tells me something is impossible to film. When I hear no, it makes me want to move mountains," he says
"Faith Dickey is the same way. Tell her "no" and it will fuel her. She humbled and amazed myself and the entire crew with her courage. This stunt started off as a way to test the precision of Volvo’s massive 16-wheeled trucks and ended up being just as much a testament to guts and courage." adds Henry Alex Rubin.
Not for the reckless
The film was recorded on an almost completed new stretch of motorway in Croatia, with no oncoming traffic. The stunt looks very dramatic but, as you’d expect, safety was of paramount importance for Volvo Trucks, as well as for stunt co-ordinator Peter Pedrero.
"Stunts are not for the reckless. Safety always comes first. You have to prepare for the worst possible scenario at all times and plan for how to deal with it. Preparation down to the tiniest detail, meticulous planning – they’re absolutely vital," reveals Peter Pedrero.
Superior handling made it possible
The driving force behind the film is Volvo Trucks. The aim is to highlight the driveability and superior handling of the company’s latest truck model – the new Volvo FH. The stunt was possible to carry out due to the excellent stability and handling of the new Volvo FH. It was thanks to this stability that both trucks could maintain a steady gap throughout the stunt. (See an interview with one of the drivers on YouTube – see below)
"It’s not enough simply to say that we are good. We wanted to demonstrate just how much progress we’ve made in the area of both driveability and handling," says Ulf Nordqvist, project manager for the new Volvo FH series.
The world premiere and official launch of the Volvo FH Series will be held on September 5th at 8pm GMT and the launch event will be webcast live at www.volvotrucks.com/fh.