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Streets Of San Francisco Star In Rally Car Viral Video

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) - A souped-up rally car burned some serious rubber on the streets of San Francisco, for a viral video posted on YouTube Monday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, it had already been viewed more than four million times.

Rally race car driver Ken Block said he took inspiration from Steve McQueen's famous chase scene in the movie, "Bullitt."

"The chase scene in "Bullitt" is one of the most iconic chase scenes in all of the genre of chase scenes for cars," said Block. "So it's definitely something I took as an influence."

Block had the video shot for his fifth installment of a franchise for the skateboard shoe company, DC. Within a few hours of its release on YouTube Monday, it went viral.

The hilly streets of San Francisco star in the video, as do the city's famous cable cars. The shoot required a lot of blocked-off space to perform the stunts.

"You know, San Francisco is so known for these steep hills and these transitions and jumps and also for the cable cars," said Block. "We had a great location scout that was able to work with city, figure it out and I was able to do everything I wanted to do."

That meant even blocking off the Bay Bridge, to a degree. While it looks in the video like the bridge is completely empty of traffic, the California Highway Patrol simply slowed down cars for a short while, leaving a broad expanse for the production crew to shoot their scenes in front of them. It was all done in just a couple of takes.

"Usually when you do a shot like that, (you) take a lot of time to set up the camera and get the camera moving perfectly," said Block. "Because we had such a short amount of time out on the bridge, it was done very rushed.

"I don't think we interrupted traffic too much that Saturday morning," said Block. "But I thank the citizens of San Francisco for putting up with us. And let me make a few tire marks on the bridge."

As for those tread marks on the bridge and on city streets? "Well, you shouldn't be able to see those anymore," said Susannah Greason Robbins with the citys Film Commission. "Production is required to hire the city to come and clean up those marks."

Filming took four days of off-hours shooting. There were no Muni disruptions, no commute traffic was blocked.

The city's take: one million dollars for what is essentially a 10-minute commercial for skateboard shoes, which are seen for about 20 seconds.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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