We’ve loved working with Volvo Trucks Group since the very first time we spoke to them about an editing job in 2012. In that time, we’ve gone on to create over 30 films for their Volvo and UD truck brands.
The folk at Volvo Trucks Group had a vision about the type of content they wanted to craft – they wanted to honestly showcase the capabilities of their trucks and the stories of how it impacts their customers’ lives for the better. We’ve enjoyed documenting this and the varied work they do around Asia and beyond ever since; most recently in South Africa for UD Trucks.
The best part about working with a client for an extended period of time is that we have a great understanding which makes it very easy for us to kick off new projects and grasp the central hook of the story quickly.
As filmmakers who enjoy making sincere and authentic films, the subject matter for Volvo Trucks Group is as varied as the purposes of the trucks themselves – so we’re thrilled to be a partner in showcasing their work and their customer’s work.
With a very ambitious launch film at its heart, Havas wanted to know if we could bring some insight and help to create an epic film that could be a part of a much wider campaign.
We’d marvelled at the great standard set by previous productions, so to be chosen as the agency to make the film was a great feeling for the team, and in some ways confirmation of the work we had done for UD up till then.
It was our first time working with the team at Havas, and we were relishing the opportunity to work with their overall concept for the launch. Of course we had set ourselves the goal of reaching previously the high standards set by previous campaign films and with the aim of hopefully bringing something new that would help push the envelope that little further.
Concealing the face of the all-new truck was crucial for the whole campaign – a 40 tonne truck on public roads is a hard thing to keep confidential, as you might think – so a spot of creative thinking combined with Havas’ approach was married to some phenomenal location sourcing by our on-ground partners in Thailand. Which allowed us to shoot the campaign while keeping the new truck away from prying eyes and out of trade magazines.
The truck was only available in Thailand for filming, but the brief for the film was that it had to feel like it could have been anywhere in the world. So the actual truck sequences had to be filmed in Thailand but the rest could be shot in Singapore or anywhere we chose – we managed to keep a lid on proposing some outrageous locations, as UD Trucks can be found doing some amazing things in each of the four corners of the world!.
Thailand gave us a great array of locations but it was obvious the benefits of filming some of the sequence in our own backyard in Singapore. We decided to divide filming into three tranches – one session in Singapore and two sessions of filming in Thailand.
We wanted to include some very ambitious camera angles that would give us beautiful shots of the truck in action. We flew drones to capture shots of the truck set against a series of spectacular backdrops in Thailand. Feature-film rigs that put 30ft cranes on trucks meant we could film details to a very high spec at speed and safely on public roads, whilst we shot the whole film on 4K Arri cameras; a real dream come true for any gear-head.
We flew heads of departments from Singapore for the project whom we knew had the resume to match the ambition of the film and had a working relationship with Hurrah previously.
The film is meant to feel like the passing of a full day so we had to schedule specific times for each shot over the course of the shoot. A few early call-times for the large crew, but when you’re capturing the quality of footage that we did, the early starts are well worth the effort.
Seeing the footage on the machines was great and the editors began to piece together the film according to the overall creative of Havas and of course the director Russell Morton’s vision.
We had the pleasure of documenting the actual launch event a few weeks after delivering the film, seeing our film as part of a larger campaign and watching the reactions to it with a live crowd was a great buzz. It really brought home the power of the film and what the launch of this new truck means to their business!