Tool of North America takes MINI for a spin filming on a Californian dry lake bed
MINI has blended comedy with action for its latest viral piece. Best Test Drive Ever. Period features a fan tearing through the streets of LA in a MINI before a stunt ramp launches him onto a dry lake bed. From here he’s chased by paratroopers and enjoys sushi and a rock concert in the desert.
California-based agency Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (BSSP) kicked off the campaign by asking MINI fans to sum up their idea of the best test drive in the world using just six words. Mathew Foster of Portland, Oregon, won with his six words: stewardess, salt flats, paratroopers, sushi and falconer.
The downtown location included dynamic architecture that provided the perfect backdrop for the scene, as well as the scope necessary to define the size of the ramp and jump effect.
Tool of North America
Tool of North America produced the spot: “The production shot at two locations; downtown LA and Cuddeback Dry Lake near Ridgecrest, California. The downtown location included dynamic architecture that provided the perfect backdrop for the scene, as well as the scope necessary to define the size of the ramp and jump effect.
“Additionally, the location was readily permit-able and controllable, allowing the crew to safely control pedestrian and automotive traffic in order to perform sophisticated and fast-paced car-to-car filming.”
Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the Amboy Salt Flats and the Soggy Dry Lakebed - both in California - were all considered before the production settled on Cuddeback, a location that’s been used in the past by brands like Suzuki.
Tool adds: “The nature of the shoot made the details of the permit more complicated. Additionally, our shoot days had some interesting weather. It rained all day while we shot downtown and high wind-speeds at the lakebed made the air-to-air and air-to-ground filming more difficult.
“High winds in the later morning required us to complete the paratrooper drop earlier in the morning and cut the amount of helicopter fly-bys.”
The high desert can be cold and windy; bring plenty of heaters, sandbags, sunglasses, hand warmers and extra pairs of socks.
Tool of North America
A Shelly Ward Evo camera car was among the specialist rigs used and a gyroscopically-stabilised camera was used for the helicopter fly-bys. Then of course there was the sushi bar with mannequin patrons and the miniature heavy metal concert set - BSSP decided to interpret ‘falconer’ by using the Swedish rock band of the same name, as opposed to using someone who trains birds of prey - that were built in the desert as well.
Tool concludes: “The high desert can be cold and windy; bring plenty of heaters, sandbags, sunglasses, hand warmers and extra pairs of socks. Production also benefitted greatly by having a top-notch Location Manager who was able to manage a very demanding permitting process in both locations.”
Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (BSSP), California
Creative Directors: Steve Mapp, Lyle Yetman, Erik Enberg
Production/Service Company: Tool of North America
Line Producer: Joby Ochsner
Production Supervisor: Geno Imbriale
Location Manager: David Ferdig
Director of Photography: Mark Plummer
Director: Erich Joiner
Global Filming Incentive - United States of America (see more…)
- North Miami Film Incentive
- Miami-Dade County Production Incentive Programme
- Kansas City Rebate Incentive
- Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit
- Wyoming: Film Industry Financial Incentive (FIFI) Program
- West Virginia Film Industry Investment Act
- Washington DC: Rebates
- The Washington Motion Picture Competitiveness Programme
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