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Offline AshSimmonds

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Just imagine: aliens sighted on Parkes Way

Aliens driving a jet-black Dodge Nitro chased a bright orange Lotus Elise up and down Parkes Way for eight hours yesterday before a scramjet arrived to whisk the Lotus away.

Of course, a little bit of vision and imagination were required to complete the picture.

Supersonic combustion ramjets have a theoretical top speed of up to mach 24 but they don't exist yet and the jury is still out on aliens, too.

But imagination is not something Canberra director Andrew Dillon lacks. Dillon was directing the scenes for his film Resistance, which he hopes will debut as a feature film in 2009, and lead to a television series.

''It's the money shot, this shot, it's the thing that is going to make the kids go 'wow'.

''We have a Lotus being chased by a Dodge in this scene, and a scramjet will come in and collect the Lotus,'' he said.

''The scramjet will be CGI [computer generated imagery] of course, we couldn't get permission for that.''

Dillon said he had confidence in his crew to get the scene right and he had time on his side to make sure of it. ''We have 2.6km of road and we will just go all day until we get what we need,'' he said.

On hand to help guide the scenes and the truck carrying three on-loan Panavision Genesis high-definition cameras worth about $2million was stunt coordinator Guy Norris.

Norris said coordination and experience were key to everything working out.

With temperatures hovering around 3 degrees, persistent rain and icy winds, stunt drivers weaving in and out of parked cars while taking instructions over radio headsets, it was easy to see why.

Norris's resume spans work from Mad Max 2 to the Lord of the Rings, and it showed, as the scenes were played out.

He said that while post-production, such as the scramjet, could add a lot to a shoot , it was still crucial to get the shot right.

''Making it look as good as possible is always a challenge. Our job is to try and give Andrew [Dillon] everything he wants,'' he said.

''It's a couple of kilometres of fabulous roadway that they have shut down for us on a Sunday. It's a great playground for us.''

Stunt driver Brett Prade standing in as ''Akio'', played by actor Adrian Lee was lucky enough to drive the Lotus at speeds of up to 80km/h.

''I watch the tracking vehicle with the cameras. It looks faster on camera, too,'' Prade said.

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