In a scene Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) go through a whole night of crazy drinking in under a minute with the entire scene frozen in bullet time. Unlike other bullet time scenes, like the one in the matrix, this scene was shot using a single camera on rails. The Mo-Sys Motion Control was programmed to repeatedly follow the same path while different elements of the scene were filmed. This combined with stuntmen who can hold pose for a long time and a bunch of CGI effects created one of the best bullet time shots in film history.
Here is how co-writer/director Adam McKay explains it to MTV:
“My DP, Oliver Wood, and I had seen this Phillips short film with cops fighting clowns,” he explained. “We loved it, but I think that cost $4 million to shoot. At first, we were going to do digital camera stills, and I just thought that was boring and we kind of did that already on ‘Talladega Nights.’ Then Oliver said, ‘I think we can do the Phillips thing,’ and in four days we came up with the plan.
“We got this motion-capture camera [Mo-Sys] that you program so the camera moves exactly the same every time,” he added. “It was similar to what they did in ‘The Matrix’ with the flying bullets. They weren’t wearing motion-capture suits. I wish I had thought of that. I would have made Will wear one for no reason. We just wrote joke scenarios of a night gone horribly wrong. We went to this bar on the Upper West Side [of Manhattan] and shot it in half a day. We cast stuntmen and women who could hold poses. Our special effects company, Evil Eye, added all these funny elements.”