Va Va VMI, shot EPIC!
The driver, a normal member of the public, arrives at the dealership to test the new Renault Clio. As the car approaches a T-junction, the salesman presses the Va Va Voom button on the dashboard.
A screen depicting a Parisian scene quickly traverses the road, turning the T-junction into a metropolitan street scene. A couple kiss passionately in front of the bemused test driver, an accordion-lead band pops up from behind a garden fence, before skimpily clad dancers take over the entertainment. As the music drops, France is again transported back to a grey British street and the dazed drivers head back to the Renault showroom.
A second version for female audiences follows a similar pattern, the women dancers replaced by burly male models. “Nice”, says the woman test driver.
A hugely successful viral campaign right from the start for Renault, the two videos, produced by Soho’s Scorch London, received over 3 million views in the first weekend after launch.
The video was shot in two very different styles. The start and end of the piece takes a fly-on-the-wall documentary approach: the camera is handheld, focus is grabbed on the go and edits are fast. As soon as the Parisian dancers emerge, a new style is at play as the director shifts attention to the scene around the car: pictures are tighter, with the camera focusing closely on the performers’ bodies; motion is slowed and the production is transformed from a documentary to a sultry drama in an instant.
For the shoot, the crew hired two 5K RED EPIC cameras with Cooke and Angenieux lenses from VMI. To use a film camera for a web shoot may seem extravagant, but production manager Sarah Rees and the DOP were intent on creating a high-class look. Rees explains:
“Most flash mob-style videos are shot on lower end equipment. We wanted to create a piece with real production values that would meet the client’s expectations. The RED delivered great pictures, much better than we can achieve on a typical HD shoot.”
With the customer delighted by the results, Scorch has gone on to produce more promotional films, including the interactive Captur Crossover piece all shot in a green screen studio.
“For these videos, we’re working to tight timescales so it’s important to have reliable kit and solid back up.” Continues Rees. “This is why we work with VMI; their kit is always in great condition and their technical service is excellent.”
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