The motorcycle chase sequence is an important scene for the film because it sets up Eddie’s rational fear of Venom, but also shows his realization that the symbiote can protect him when he’s in danger. Spiro Razatos, Venom’s second unit director, told IGN, “This is the first time that Eddie finds out he has Venom in him. Obviously, he’s freaking out. He’s got drones that are blowing up all around him, he’s got SUVs that are trying to kill him, and he’s got Venom inside of him. So he’s trying to deal with this while he’s going at eighty miles an hour on a motorcycle through the traffic of San Francisco.”
To build up that tension, the set was right on the peak of San Francisco’s colloquially named Bullitt Hill (after the 1968 action movie). It’s a long, straight street with a whole lot of tumultuous bumps and dips, and that’s exactly why they chose it – it’s a great place for a frantic car chase full of Eddie Brock’s panic.”So we’re trying to tell the story where … Eddie here separates from his motorcycle when he jumps. It’s such a big, steep jump that he actually leaves the motorcycle, and you think he’s gonna die, and Venom actually reaches down, pulls himself back to the motorcycle, saves him, and now … he’s relying on Venom to save him when he gets in these dangerous positions with the SUVs and the drones that are chasing him,” said Razatos.
While the road was bumpy enough, a definitely steep enough for me to start getting tired halfway through the walk up, one of the first things I watched was a team of engineers putting together a fully adjustable ramp – one the stunt coordinator, Andy Gill, has used since the ’80s. Carefully framed out of the shot, the ramp was there to, as I overheard Razatos say at some point as they were doing another take, “send this guy to the moon”. And looking at the shot on the set’s display monitors, it really looked like it did. You can watch the full video of shooting this sequence above.
“We needed something where it looked like he was gonna skyrocket straight up in the sky,” said Gill. “The rest of this is like they did in Bullitt where they go one jump after the other, which is cool for that, but we needed one that was gonna launch you straight up like that, where the motorcycle can just fly straight up and get a lot of height.
Much of the scene was shot with practical effects. Even the SUVs chasing after Eddie had to go over the jumps, all while there’s a bunch of fake traffic on the street, making things look more muddled, and tighter. The main CGI sequence in this scene, which was previously filmed, involves Tom Hardy being pulled off of the bike in front of a blue screen. The VFX team then used visual effects to show Venom pulling Eddie back on to the bike, as has been shown in Venom’s trailers.The film’s stunt coordinator, Andy Gill, seemed comfortingly confident while filming the big stunt sequence, especially considering the way the night began; San Francisco was doused in rain, pushing the shoot to be several hours later than originally planned. It was still a little rainy, and pretty damn cold, but the threat was far higher for the stunt drivers than for any of us on the sidelines. There was an excessive amount of tire-screeching during one of the takes, too. I was too far up the hill to see what happened, so I asked Robbie Madison, the stunt driver, about it afterward.