It was foot to the floor for Framestore’s LA team on the making of the immersive new campaign for the BMW M2, in which viewers are invited to keep their eyes on model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid in a high-velocity version of the shell game.
Framestore worked with Director Marc Forster on the spots, carrying out extensive previs and advising on the shoot process throughout in a highly collaborative creative environment. In delivering for both TV and a 360° online experience, Framestore were able to utilise the wealth of knowledge already built in-house from previous immersive projects, and apply it to an all-new scenario in the heart of the Mojave desert.
Key to the spots was the choreography of the five featured M2s. To make the game element truly engaging across platforms the driving needed to be complex enough to lose Gigi in a blink of an eye, and yet not impossible to solve. Forster and Stunt Coordinator Eric Norris worked alongside the Framestore team on an improvised driving playground in the LA office, covering 30ft of the production floor with a scaled-down track and getting hands-on with five Matchbox cars. ‘Marc’s a great director to work with’, says Alex Thomas, Creative Director. ‘He’s very collaborative, and trusts those around him, whilst maintaining a strong sense of what he wants. He was very open to different ways of exploring to find the best possible ideas’. The Previs team turned their trial moves into an extensive and precise 60” choreography, which would fully prepare the stunt drivers for a smooth ride on shoot day.
The sun-bleached desert backdrop of the Mojave Air and Space Port added further drama to the interweaving cars, which were shot on a stripped-down Corvette; the smallest possible footprint of the camera car was necessary to ensure speed, depth of shot, and ultimate 360° coverage of the M2s’ movements. Live stitching on set, on top of the extensive previs process, ensured the most transparent and efficient communications between director, drivers and artists throughout.
Once captured, the live action footage was handed to our veteran team of VR and 360 artists, who got to work on producing a perfectly seamless experience using a host of specialised proprietary tools, Nuke, GIS data and over 5000 survey images from set to create the seamless game of deception. Says Michael Ralla, Compositing Supervisor: ‘It’s interesting to see how engaging and interactive the resulting 360° video is - despite the fact that it’s pre-rendered. It invites the viewer to play and interact with it, and there is a defined motivation to look around which goes way beyond it being just being a gimmick’.
Says James Alexander, Senior Producer, of the work: ‘I’m hugely proud of the great work our team poured into this project. A concentrated effort over many weeks resulted in a series of films across multiple formats that our clients are thrilled with’.
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