Friday, January 17, 2020

VW "Drive Empowered"

Click to watch. 


Director: Daniel Kontur
Writer: Dan Sorgen
DOP: Zoltan Devenyi
Producer: Kinga Harnasi
Music: Luke Richards
Sound: Mauricio d'Orey

Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?

Breaking into the automotive sector is always very tough. Having a spec spot in this field could prove to be very crucial later on. The script has a very universal theme - we all have insecurities and all wish to climb the career ladder but we always have inner voices pulling us back. Showing a character break out of that and defeating his "inner demons” was something I felt would be nice to show. It has a positive feel to it. 

What was the casting process like?

Hilariously simple. There aren’t too many English speaking actors based in Budapest. My producer Kinga was having drinks in town 3 weeks prior to our shooting date and met the two actors in the smoking area of a pub. They both fitted the profile and age. She invited them to meet me and things just fell into place.

How did you search for/lock a location?

We knew we needed a private road to shoot the car scenes. There’s no way the police would have tolerated such a shoot on public roads. We used our local connections of location managers and they suggested a few locations we checked out. Luckily, one of them suited perfectly with a road surrounded by autumn trees. 

How did you select your DP, crew?

Zoltan was recommended to me by local producers who have worked with him previously. It’s always a little nerve wrecking doing a job with someone you haven’t worked before - but we hit it off pretty much straight away. We also collaborated with OMG Visuals who are car shoot specialists - they choreographed the two cars and camera movement in a way I’ve never thought was possible. 

How did shooting go? Any challenges?

The car shoot was tricky. Also totally weather dependent - we actually had to move the shoot day by 10 days due to heavy rains. Rigging the camera to the car is also time consuming so we had to schedule it very carefully in order to get the most important shots first. Also having shot at the end of November we only had about until 3-4PM until it got dark. It was pretty stressful to say the least. 

Tell us about editing and finishing.

We edited about 15 versions, tried all sorts of lengths and eventually settled on the 45 seconds. Thankfully I was able to pull a few favours from old colleagues in London. Luke scored an original track for the film in his London studio and Mauricio designed the soundscape and mixed it all together. The grade was also done by a friend of our DOP. 

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have gotten a little more out of the actors. There were no rehearsals whatsoever. 
The office scene could have become stronger if I had played a little more with it. At one point, I had the idea to include a secretary next to the boss, could have been an interesting addition potentially.