While most people on Black Friday are hunting for the best deals possible after a day of giving thanks, Hoonigan and Nissan have a different idea of hitting the mall. In celebration of one of the most chaotic days of the year, the creators of the Gymkhana and Recoil video series keep the crazy elements of Black Friday alive with a visit to the shops for some drifting and donuts.
Nissan and Hoonigan went to the abandoned Mall with two 1000-hp 370Z sports cars piloted by Drift Alliance friends Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck. Forsberg takes full advantage of the empty mall to slay tires, and with the lack of a crowd, nothing was off limits.
In one scene, Forsberg swerves the back of his car on the ledge of a 30-foot drop. “I knew I could mentally block out the drop, however my biggest concern was the surface,” admitted Forsberg. “The conditions were dusty and underneath all of that was polished concrete. We had one chance to get the shot before the rubber built up.” A rubber buildup actually adds traction that would compromise the control of the car when drifting.
The shoot was not without its challenges. Years of dust at the site required the crew to use respirators to breathe during filming. The production made sure they got the shot even at the expense of a few cameras in the process. In one instance, as the white 370Z explodes through a wall, a GoPro was left implanted in the cinder block facade. Another time the 360-degree camera rig was run over when a slight miscalculation sent a prop flying in an unexpected direction.
The video was shot at the Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center, in Los Angeles. It opened in 1977, but it finally closed its doors in 1999. The mall was used in the filming of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and while we appreciate the driving in Tokyo Drift, we don’t think it matches the show from Forsberg and Tuerck. However as with many abandoned places, the mall is not quite the safest place to be or in the best condition but when you are some of the best drifters in the world you can make the magic happen.