It’s entirely possible that the most popular form of film in Russia is the dash cam, a camera installed in their cars and typically on the dashboard. The story behind Russians obsession with dash cams, however, isn’t one of passion. Instead the dash cam culture is protective; it’s Russia’s last stand against corruption. I don’t know if you saw A Good Day to Die Hard, but the roads in Russia are perilous…even when John and Jack McClane aren’t trying to outrun criminals. Dash cams give a clear account of any accident or run in with a police officer.

In fact, in Russia, there are video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo that were created exclusively for dash cam footage. Yes, some of the footage is harrowing, but sometimes drivers catch something special…like…I don’t know…a meteorite burning through the sky.

As filmmakers, we at SolidLine have to congratulate several, if not hundreds, of accidental amateur filmmakers in Russia for capturing the rare and strikingly beautiful event of last Friday. If that meteorite had hit in the United States our best bet for footage would be a squad car or security camera, but because of the prominence of dash cams in Russia, we have footage of the event from multiple angles, against multiple landscapes and in multiple stages.

I’m not sure how useful dash cam footage is for NASA research, or I guess Russian Federal Space Agency research, but, as filmmakers and curious human beings, we have to appreciate the opportunity to witness this spectacular event, even if it happened on the other side of the world. Because of dash cams and smartphones we were able to document this exquisite disaster in a way we couldn’t have dreamed of a few decades ago.

So, Russian motorists, a big thank you from SolidLine Media for your contribution to film, history and science.

And, best wishes, we hope everyone who was injured in the meteor strike makes a full recovery.

For those who missed it, here are a couple of clips of the meteorite…courtesy of dash cams of course:

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