Last month Australian, freelance, TVC director Juan Jaramillo was chosen by Toyota Motor Corporation’s international advertising agency Hakuhodo to direct a launch film for the global reveal of the all-new seventh-generation Camry at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
The brief for the film was to unveil the next-generation Camry as a sharply styled, new-era automobile with rational but ultra-technological appeal and jam-packed with new features.
The two new models (sports and luxury sedan) feature a totally revamped design where every exterior body panel is new; this meant the shoot had to be organized like a Secret Service operation. Security guards outnumbered grips and gaffers 5 to 1 as entire downtown Shanghai blocks and nearby highways where cordoned off to shield the car from praying eyes (and mobile phones) of passers-by. The production department liaised closely with local police to ensure site security and crowd control at every location.
“The client was hyper-sensitive to the fact that the media had not yet caught a glimpse of the new design and we all felt a huge responsibility to do everything we could to ensure this remained so during the shoot,” Juan said.
All the same the director’s biggest challenge was still the weather! Late-autumn in China can often be stormy and somewhat ominous. “As I was already committed to treating the film in a more graphic way than your typical car commercial in order to achieve an ultra-high-tech and dramatic look, we had to shot when there were short breaks of intense light, risking harsh reflections on the car but resulting in material with far higher impact that offered up a lot more contrast to work with. We spent quite a bit of time on telecine, balancing the brightness of the images, darkening the backgrounds and generally making the car stand out”… he recalls. “I liked the resulting effect, but it wasn’t nearly colourful enough, so we did several more extra passes adding a little motion blur to the backgrounds and fine-tuning the opacity to bring some of the colour back. Finally topping it all with fairly extreme virtual highlights, flares and hotspots to end somewhere close to the ultramodern, clean feel the client expected.”