To stage a match-up between a force of nature and a
force of mankind:
A stunning race between a Dunlop-equipped Mercedes SLS AMG
and a trail of flames racing at high speed, shot at night, using breathtaking
images to create a visceral experience that tells the audience Dunlop is itself
a force of nature that can’t be beat.
THE BIG PICTURE
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pitch for
this commercial. We’re committed to making great films about great brands, and
as performance enthusiasts we fully appreciate that Dunlop is one of the most
compelling, iconic and powerful brands of them all. This is a very exciting
Total performance, unquestionable safety. This is
We stage a high-speed race at night, between a
Dunlop-equipped Mercedes SLS AMG and a flame racing down a track. The flame is
a petrol lane that is ignited when the car starts.
It’s a thrilling race. Even in the narrow curves when
the car must adhere to safety in its performance, Dunlop is unbeatable. Dunlop
crosses the finish line first, the flames just behind.
When the flame crosses the line it sets off a fantastic
blast of pyrotechnics and we see the Dunlop performance message burned into the
DYNAMICS AND SPEED
Our shot selection will be dynamic. Wide shots mix with
mediums and close-ups. Power, pace, energy. We get in super close on the tyres
at points of acceleration, high speed, change of speed, sharp turns, hard
braking. We make sure we see the tyre profile, the nature of its grip, its road
handling. We have shots of the typres illuminated by the flames. We see the
typres from every conceivable angle, and every possible context within the
We spare no opportunity to make Dunlop the star of the
We shoot the fire, the landscape, the body of the car
and the tyres in such a way that makes Dunlop implicit as a part of nature –
the nature of performance, speed and safety. We shoot the driver in total
control, in command. This is critical as it conveys the spirit of performance
and safety. We watch him switch gears, hit the accelorator, stay focused with
laser sharp concentration.
We shoot an array of dynamic driving shots, using
special angles that make cutting this film a very exciting prospect. We pay
special attention to short, concise detail shots of the Dunlop tyres, so there
is no doubt about our coverage.
DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS
Tyres have a subtle power in the minds of drivers. It’s
a very deep connection. It arouses something in the gut. Rubber on tarmac,
holding it, gripping it, burning it up! A great car means nothing without
outstanding tyres. Something about tyres is synonymous with pure animal power. We
want to play on this. We want to drive home the message that Dunlop is the only
We must see the tyres in order for us to feel
the tyres. They seem to pump with tension, much like our lungs. Driving through
water, the spray “foams” behind the tyre, as on the ocean.
Visuals that create great sensations.
It’s about feeling. A dynamic selection of shots,
especially those in close-up, showing details, will enable us to edit with a
feeling of pace, creating a feeling of drama, action and dynamic tension. The
details will conjur a powerful sense of connection. Detail shots of the tyres
in the midst of performance are not your average “pack-shots.” The volume of
energy, the power and the sound that surrrounds these images will make them
Detailed shots of the tyres will cut seamlessly into the
broad scale of the visual story. We want a kind of visceral, seductive
experience that is almost subconscious. We want to emulate the connection
people have with their tyres. Serious drivers look at tyres like no other
element. Something about them, perhaps it’s akin to the life and death paradox.
Performance is everything. Safety is everything. Every detail of a tyre is
important. They better be good!
The flame trails are critical, the details of which can not
be understated. The fire represents performance and safety. It must appear to
be a totally realistic threat. The flame trail must say, “nice car, but what
tyres are you driving?” It must be perfect. Every detail of execution must look
real in order for it to impact the audience.
They cannot tear themselves away from these images. They
can’t resist the sensations. It’s electric!
This is a story
about a tyre with an amazing ability to adapt performance in an instant.
Performance without any compromise to safety.
In this story our
hero has to follow a road at night defined by two flame tracks running either
The story opens on
a deserted racetrack. There’s an atmosphere. It’s mysertious and desolate. He
hear an engine. A Dunlop-equipped Mercedes SLS AMG rolls into frame. Inside, the
driver is totally focused, he pumps the accelerator, the engine growls. A sense
of anticipation. This is serious.
A large truck
slowly rolls past the Mercedes on to the track. Driving down one side of the track,
it opens the back valve and a liquid pours out onto the track. What might look
like a “wet-down” is actually fuel. The truck disappears into the darkness.
He pumps the
accelerator. Still ready.
Two men in extravagant
Kubrick-esque fireretardant overalls walk out onto the track from either side.
They wear balaclava fire-proof masks. They meet in the middle of the track and
draw a line in chalk, each going back to his own side. They exchange looks with
the driver. A nod from the driver signals his readiness. He pumps the
accelorator and rolls forward to the line.
The truck comes
back out of the dark night, driving back along the other side of the track. We
see the valve is still open. It dries up. The truck passes the SLS and we see a
FLAMMABLE sign on its container.
The guys in the
overals signal to each other and they each light magnesium bengalo torches.
They hold up their torches. Very dramatic, like the start of a drag race.
The SLS growls
with anticipation. The tyres roll forward, catch a piece of natural light from
somewhere beyond, and the name DUNLOP moves into frame.
DUNLOP IS THE STAR
Hands on the steering wheel, foot on accelorator. Reflections of the magnesium
torches give dramatic illumination on elements of the car. Torches reflected in
the driver’s eyes.
‘Okay, let’s do
it,’ he nods, and the guys drop their bengalo torches onto the track and step
back into darkness.
WHOOSH – THE FLAME
TRAILS ARE OFF!
The driver peals
away with a fantastic wheelspin.
CUT TO OVER THE
SHOULDER – through the windscreen, the flames are far out in front as the SLS
starts making up ground.
A SERIES OF CUTS:
Speedometer, revmeter, the driver shifting gears, a swooshing flash pan along
the side of the track, flames in the foreground, car racing the other side of
the flame. Every conceivable angle to capture the energy and pace of the race.
A hard rig shot of the front wheel and tyre steering round the curves of the
track, profile tracking shots of the car with a Russian Arm, a jump back to the
other side of the flames, moving alongside, almost entirely obscuring the car,
just enough to see and feel those tyres. Smoke, motion blur, a sudden
slow-motion drift as the SLS takes a hairpin turn, staying between the flame
trails with pinpoint accuracy. These tyres are outstanding. Grip you hadn’t
thought possible. Everything is superlative. Close-ups start popping. It’s
Just as the car
hits the straight again it’s neck and neck. More dynamic angles, more pace,
more energy, it doesn't let up. The car overtakes the flames and crosses the
finish line. It does a fantastic 180º handbreak turn, coming to a fantastic
stop facing the flames as they rush past and ignite the pyrotechnic construction
POWER BY MERCEDES-AMG. GRIP BY DUNLOP.
It’s a race,
Hollywood style. Our hero, the Dunlop-equipped Mercedes SLS AMG, must be faster
than the burning flame track. It’s life and death. There is no second place.
The flame runs at
an awesome speed. We follow our hero, trying to catch it. It’s not easy.
Several obstacles are in the way, forcing it to maneuver in every which way,
pushing driver and car to its limit. There’s a water-slick, flame torches
shooting out of the ground, and a sudden sharp chicane that comes out of
These tyres will
be pushed and tested to their utmost.
The driver suddenly
sees the racing flame about reach a kind of “switch” on its track. It’s a
sudden turn of events, something dangerous is about to happen, like an
explosion. Our hero, the tyres, must reach the switch before the flame, and
counteract the event, turning the flame back on track.
The flame then
continues on and ignites a special-built pyrotechnic construction that ignites
and displays the campaign message:
POWER BY MERCEDES-AMG. GRIP BY DUNLOP.
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL FX
To realize and ensure the best possible visual outcome we have decided
to use CGI – executed by Pixomondo Studios. Pixomondo
Studios has direct experience in CG flame imitation, stimulation and adaptation,
on prestige projects such as Oblivion,
Star Trek Into Darkness, Medicus, Game of Thrones, Suckerpunch, Hindenburg
and many more. Pixomondo can deliver incredible results, on time and on budget.
We would recommend shooting
the car itself on the racetrack, and the racetrack itself, and then put the CG
flames in the picture in post production.
The flames of course are going to look as real as possible. Photorealism is the
goal and the team has plenty of direct experience from
various feature and commercial film productions.
Using CGI for the flames has
many benefits. It means there are far fewer limitations in the way we can
shoot, because there are no obvious obstacles. We can be spontaneous and far
The other benefit is safety.
Extraordinary safety measures are expensive and costly. The fact that we can
control the flames in their appearance and choreography, without having
the risk of an actual fire on set, makes the CG solution more appealing.
It gives us great flexibility, and in the end, a full CG solution allows us to
perfectly set the behavior of the flame for each shot in the scene.
We will create an exact
previsualization of all relevant CG shots so the the shoot goes smoothly. Every
minute will be timed precisely. This way we can guarantee the shoot stays
within budget and schedule.
Furthermore we will perform
flame tests before and during the shot production, giving all parties the
opportunity to approve the style of the flames. This would not be possible with
The integrated flames in the CG
shots will be matched individually to each shot. The fire elements will be put
together out of a mixture of CG fire and footage plate fire to achieve the
ideal look. It is important that the film does not have what might be
considered a CGI look. Everything should appear to be completely real, filmed
in real time, as is.
A further aspect that must be
considered are the reflections created by the flames – within the natives
surroundings and on the car finish. To achieve perfection we will ‘match-move’
the car in 3D so we can add natural looking reflections in 3D through
compositing. The result will be totally seamless.
AND EFFECTIVE WORKFLOW 3D/CGI
In a pre-visualization film (previz) we first
translate the storyboard in an animated movie. This previz roughly indicates
the environment. Ideally the car and tyres will already be there in color, as
well as flames and reflections of the flames. The previz is the basis for the
final film, and it’s a great way for you to get an immediate feeling for what
we are talking about.
Parallel to the previz we will develop the look of the
film in a stylebook that includes all the visual details for you to consider
and envision for yourselves.
The idea is that there should be no great surprises.
Obviously we know that production always throws up obstacles and opportunities,
but the previz gives us the distinct advantage of being “on-set” before we get
there. It gives us the chance to approve the shots with a high degree of
certainty that this is what will appear in the rushes.
PIXOMONDO STUDIOS are geniuses in this world. There is
simply no one better than Pixomondo to make this process productive, effective
and totally satisfaying.
Our feeling is we should present Dunlop tyres in the
most appropriate environment, and there is no better place than a racetrack to
shoot a race. We believe the Hungaroring in Hungary is a racetrack with just
the right drama, power and epic proportions to shoot this work.
Nothing can capture the imagination more than Dunlop
on the racetrack. It also gives us significant control of our environment,
especially the light. Whereas on an airfield there is far too much darkness
that demands a major lighting expenditure, the Hunaroring offers us plenty of
options for basic lighting and background brightness. Not to mention, this is
the perfect place to stage the message of high performance + safety.
On the racetrack we simply feel control and
sovereignty, and we shouldn’t underestimate our feeling about the iconography
of the Dunlop brand throughout the racetrack world.
It’s a strong feeling and we would like to present
Hungaroring as our favorite option.
The film will be shot in darkness, but darkness does
not mean you don’t see what’s going on. It’s completely the opposite in this
case. In this film you will see precisely what you need to see! The film will
be very much alive with an exciting lighting mood, with only the “darkness” to
accentuate the bright accents.
The light, the reflections of the flames, they set a great
mood. The contours of the car, in and out of shadow, illuminated by the flames,
unusual reflections that add to the mystery and danger, the car flying past
camera, out of darkness and back into it, 90º sweeps, from profile to flat-on
angles, and back again, but only for a split second and we cut back to an
arresting, dynamic close-up, pushing pushing pushing the limits, the tyres never
relinquishing any power and poise. It’s all very exciting.
We like the word “crunchy” when we envision the hard
cuts and rapid image sequences, followed by sudden shifts into slow-motion
sequences that totally draw the viewer into the new Dunlop tyres.
We believe Dunlop has maintained a great look and feel
to their campaigns throughout the world over the course of time, and our aim is
to cultivate this equity with our particular “voice” as filmmakers, in this
time and place, right now!
We want to go a little radical with this film. We want
to push the boundaries, make a commercial that resonates, that is remembered as
a film made by Dunlop. We will work with a great cinematographer, a master of
understatement, who himself has a unique perspective that will open our eyes to
even greater possibilities. We want breathtaking imagery. It must totally
engaging, powerful, arresting, and real! 100% made and measured (with
precision) for Dunlop.
We will shoot in a way that grabs the viewer and pulls
him in. Sensational sound design, mixed with the stirring native sound of the
car, especially the wheels and their connection with the ground, the vibration,
will offer a sensory experience like none other. Inside the car there is a
sense of being totally in the moment. Performance and safety by Dunlop.
We envision something that registers on a deep, sensory level.
The power of cinema so to speak. A great story that looks beautiful.
The best cinema is about content. Style is critical of
course, but content is king, and in this case, the Dunlop tyre is the star. The
camera must be invisible. There will be beautiful camera work, but the journey
must only be about Dunlop and what these tyres are capable of doing.
Throughout the film transitions are critical to give it
a truly seamless, elegant flow. If we keep the camera moving in a fluid way,
the cutting opportunities will be endless.
Editing and picture correction will give us plenty of
opportunity to really play with the images. The way everything blends, such as
reframing and cropping to increase the dynamic quality of certain shots, cutting
images together in just the right way, striking the right balance of rhythm,
continuity and coverage, and suprising our audience with amazing shots of the
race, between a car and the flames… This is where it all comes together and we
can start to say “wow!”
Then there’s the sound…
The better the sound, the better the picture – a
fundamental wisdom of filmmaking.
For this film we only hear original sound when we attune
our ears to match the visuals we envision. We hear original sound combined with
a score and awesome sound design.
Sound is a powerful conveyor of emotion. It helps to
create tension and set dramatic highlights. It supports the visuals, a Mercedes
SLS AMG supercar on a thrilling race against a speeding trail of inflamed
We hear the igniting flames (animalic, brutal, epic),
the sound of the SLS, gear changes, brakes, and of course the Dunlop tyres!
Changing perspectives engenders changing sounds. When
we’re close to the car, the engine noise is more evident. When the camera is going
through the fire trail, we should hear this too.
The point is, we want this to be real. We want to
capture the moment. We want to grab our audience by the senses. A cool sound
design will enhance the interaction between the senses. We will work with an
excellent audio production house to create a proposal for the soundtrack
together with the offline edit.
A BURNING DESIRE
Every film we make represents a brand new challenge. We
never want to repeat ourselves. Obviously we have a few tricks up our sleeves,
but we never sit back and shoot from the trailer. We love this work and we love
this brand. It’s the perfect scenario for us and we are taking this very
Greetings from Hamburg.
For what its worth we think the Hollywood story with
obstacles could prove to be a tough one unless we give it something you can
truly envision, a super-stylized narrative like the classic Dunlop work by Tony
Kaye, “Tested for the Unexpected” (obviously you know this ad).
Dunlop - Tested for the Unexpected
We get the feeling two ideas could be a distraction
that might not work in your favour. We think the film should be the straight-up
race with awesome coverage, OR the obstacle course. It might be hard to get
everything in 45“ ...
We have a strong feeling the straight race-track
scenario is where we have the best chance of really seeing the money on the
screen, and it’s probably going to have a really powerful effect on the
audience. The idea is simple, straight forward, and strong.