Here's The Video NSW Police Didn't Want Ken Block Filming In Sydney

Ken Block makes amazing gymkhana videos. But NSW Police didn't want Ken Block to make this particular gymkhana video — the one you see right up there — in Sydney. So the Hoonigan team went to New York instead, leaving Australia in its dust. Here's the video they made — the video that could have featured the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and all our most famous city's iconic landmarks.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Nine was filmed to coincide with the launch of Forza Horizon 3, set in Australia — so it made sense for Gymkhana Nine to be filmed in Australia. In Sydney in particular, according to Jalopnik, who say that the Hoonigan racing team were denied a permit to film stunts in and around the Sydney CBD and across the Harbour Bridge, with police deeming the shutdown for the stunts "not possible". Gymkhana Seven, though, was filmed in Los Angeles — closing part of the city for a couple of days — as was Gymkhana Eight in Dubai.

Hoonigan's Matt Tuccillo told Jalopnik that “the police down there started to make things difficult with the permitting process for the locations we were trying to secure, both public and private. Apparently we were going to be 'bad' for Australia and as we got closer and closer to filming we started to lose more and more locations that we had secured, ultimately forcing us to abandon the concept.” Hoonigan even offered to film and publish a high-profile public safety announcement for NSW Police speaking out against unsafe driving, but that wasn't enough.

More from Jalopnik:

Tuccillo said the original concept for the video was to shoot in a mix of industrial and raw spaces, full of “locations that were iconic and instantly recognizable as Australia” like the Sydney Opera House.
That was not to be. A police spokesperson said that this request was deemed “not possible,” though they did not elaborate. Police said it was suggested the crew shoot on nearby Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbor instead, but those permit applications were never submitted.
The reason for that, Tuccillo said, is that Cockatoo Island would have been a supremely slow and boring place to shoot the video.

If you ask me, Australia really missed out on being part of this one. It's awesome.


    In a way, you can kinda see the old bills side of it but in true fashion they have unintentionally given it more oxygen, as is the way of these things.

    A bit narrow minded to only scope Sydney for locations though. Daniel Andrews would have fast-tracked the approval process to film in Melbourne just so he could stick it up Baird.

      But if you talk to anyone outside of Australia, and they ask the question "Where are you from?" and you respond with "[Insert any location in australia here]" they then immediately ask "Is that near Sydney?"

        You've proved the point - they had their heart set on Sydney and nothing else. A nice aerial shot humming along the Great Ocean Road might have done the trick (or shut down part of the 12 Apostles car park) to get the shots needed. I didn't see anything particularly 'iconic' in the video which - I anticipate - they were probably hoping for in filming in Sydney - internationals are always going to recognise the Opera House cf. the Arts Centre - but the tie-in with Forza is kind of lost in another generic "Ken Block does burnouts" video.

          Not going to disagree with you. Lot's of great places to do this in Aus, and the more exposure it gets the better. But realistically the point of the video is not "Lets advertise Australia" its "Lets do sick donuts etc around well known buildings etc because we can". That's why he's been doing these in major cities like LA and San Fran previously.

    Fun video of a car going fast. The bits spinning around in a big circle are mind numbingly boring however. He does it a whole heap. Is that something car nuts love or what? I don't really understand stopping all the time to do this.

      That is the whole point of the video. Yes he drives fast, but the point is he's showing off precision driving and skill, speed just goes along with it. Doing a perfect donut around a traffic cone in a 600hp car isnt exactly easy.

        Thankyou for an explanation! Seriously.

          No problem buddy. Ken Block also does Rally in case you're interested more in that.

            good stunt driver yes, good rally driver or a good race car driver in general? NOPE, he sucks at rallying not only that he got his ass handed to him in rally cross when he was up against Sebastien Leob.....

              I didnt say he was good. All I said was he participated in Rally in case Mr Darren felt he wanted to explore more.

    Its a fairly justified reason. To shoot one of Ken blocks videos requires parts of sydney being shutdown for many hours if not days while they work, very unrealistic and expensive that Aus just cant justify.
    Kens Gymkhana videos are renowned for taking up most of a city so the whole cockatoo island thing probably wouldnt of worked even if they did submit the application

    I remember the backlash Project Gotham got when that came out because you could 'race on Australian roads in realistic environments'

      Id have loved to see them try and shut down the harbour bridge. People would totally be fine with that

        not to mention Circular Quay and the Opera House. The number of police they'd have to have to ensure public safety would probably be most of the officers stationed in or around Sydney.

    If you hadn't mentioned NY in the article i woulnd't have known where it was, it may as well have been filmed in Chernobyl for all it matters. Cool vid, nice driving, but i think the cops got it right.

      Yeah, you can see that they used an abandoned industrial estate for most of the shoot. Far cry from shutting down parts of a busy CBD in a major tourist city.

    given the mess Sydney CBD's roads are in at the moment and given how bad the roads minister Duncan Gay is on virtual everything (to say nothing of the 'vibe' killer the rest of the government is), is it sadly no surprise the police said no. wet blankets, the whole lot of them.

    Makes sense to me. That seems like it would've been a really high-impact shut-down, with practically no return.

    Here in Brisbane we shut down a couple streets for the filming of Thor, and people bitched about that enough, but the equation was pretty simple: the movie was bringing in millions and millions of dollars spent in the country that wouldn't have been, otherwise.

    I doubt Ken Block would've brought in similar.

    ermmm compare the videos, one is shot in a abandon industrial area appears to be no reason for foot traffic, so closing a few roads and a lift bridge probably not a big deal. Its not like they shot this in the middle of LA or Time Square in NYC. Asking to close the harbour bridge and surrounding areas, is a bit too far considering the traffic drama it would cause

    I love how everyone's trying to justify that they didnt shut down Sydney and "only used an old industrial site" for this. People, read the article again. It was stated that both DUBAI and LOS ANGELES were shutdown for several days in the previous 2 videos. Gymkhana 5 was in San Francisco. Sydney is basically a country town by comparison. If they can shut down major international metropolises for days at a time without incident, then it wouldnt have been a problem. Yes it might be slightly inconvenient for a couple of days, but hey, you adapt.

    They even offered to do a safe driving video to help their case. We missed a big opportunity for some exposure here. These videos are hugely popular.

    Last edited 15/09/16 11:40 am

      Completely agree. Given the mass exposure Ken Block's Gymkhana videos have online, seems like this opportunity could have been a great chance to promote Australia. We always seem to be looking for unique ways to promote ourselves, this would have been a nice take on the usual tourism campaigns.

      It's not every day you have a major AAA game franchise set in Australia... oh wait, it's never happened before. Should have made use of this rare opportunity. Instead we'll just say "no" as usual.

      Last edited 15/09/16 12:54 pm

      Just because Dubai and LA are okay with the shutdowns doesn't mean we should be. A multi-hour to multi-day shutdown for a major in road to the city? Yeah, I don't think that's worth it. And it appears neither did the Government. Fair call.

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