Within the first 15 seconds of Gymkhana 4, it becomes blatantly obvious: Ken Block has gone Hollywood.
But what was the three-time X Games Rally Car Racing medalist supposed to do? As the success (105 million total video views as of April) -- and production value -- of each subsequent Gymkhana video increased, so too did the pressure to one-up his previous offerings. So when Block began tossing around ideas for this fourth incarnation, he did so knowing that nothing short of the best driving, and the best effects, would hold his fans' attention. So he decided to utilize the resources available to him in Los Angeles, including Hollywood backlots, producers and stuntmen. "We have Hollywood right here, so we wanted to use real Hollywood magic," Block says. "There is so much you can tap into when you say, 'Hollywood,' so the hardest part was narrowing down the concepts we wanted to use."
The video opens with Block's stunt double walking, while lit on fire, through a fiery scene straight out of 'War of the Worlds.' The title of the video, and details about Block's latest DC clothing line, flash across the screen using fonts that pay homage to classic movies like 'Back to the Future' and 'Blade Runner,' as well as Block's personal favorite: zombie flicks.
After a few more Poison-filled moments (Nothin' But a Good Time provides the opening soundtrack), Block takes his brand-new multipurpose Ford Fiesta to the streets of the Universal Studios backlot. He flies through narrow, trolley-lined alleys, dances around moving forklifts and even slides through a set where the guys from fellow YouTube sensation 'Epic Mealtime' are filming a video of their own. "We thought it would be a funny combination of two viral phenomenons working together," Block says. "They were down for it and came in and had a real good time."