Here is a link to a truly amazing example of automotive and film technology at its best.
No point in me re-writing the explanation, so here are the words from the BLACKBIRD Home Page:
Until now, automotive advertising (film) content has often been dictated or hampered by car availability, constant model revisions and updates, limited access to locations, and footage that can quickly become dated and irrelevant.
In collaboration with JemFX, Performance Filmworks and Keslow Camera, The Mill has created The Mill BLACKBIRD® which sets out to transform the way automotive advertising is made – it’s a car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car.
The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car. Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and damping to replicate typical driving characteristics.
Two years in development, The Mill BLACKBIRD® was hand built by the world’s top technicians from JemFX in the very same hanger that the BLACKBIRD SR-71 supersonic jet was once manufactured - the car rig’s name is a nod to this legacy of stealth design.
The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to capture quality footage and data due to its camera array and tailor-made stabilisation unit, engineered in collaboration with Performance Filmworks’ legendary, multi award winning technician, Lev Yevstratov.
A combination of high dynamic range imagery and 3D laser scanning generates a virtual version of the environment, producing 100% realistic CG renderings. The Mill has taken this a step further, developing a bespoke BLACKBIRD® AR application that allows you to see the intended vehicle in CG, tracked live over the rig on location.
Whether for automotive advertising content or visualising the latest advances in car design, The Mill BLACKBIRD® inspires and expands creative opportunities, offering a truly flexible production tool without sacrificing any quality or direction.
Alistair Thompson, International Executive Vice President - The Mill comments: “We can unequivocally say that The Mill BLACKBIRD® is a tool to solve real problems for the advertising industry. It is no vanity project. It was the genuine needs of our advertising clients that made the Blackbird happen and their constant support and input has shaped its design and made it the game changing innovation that it has become.
Watch this, and be prepared to be amazed:
This promo reel is an award winner in the Cannes Lions advertising film category