To produce a ‘hero’ film for Nissan showcasing the Nissan 370Z Nismo limited edition production car.
The content needed to include references to the Nissan Motorsport Nismo programme of developing racing talent and also utilise biometric data that was available to Nismo athletes from the custom-built Juke Ride vehicle.
Our concept was to put an extreme sport next to an extreme car, driven by an extreme athlete, in a race that had never been done before.
We picked wingsuit flying as it is such a visually jaw-dropping extreme sport, with a tangible element of risk. Most wingsuit flying takes place in the Alps, and this was the perfect backdrop for filming the car.
The original idea for the main film was to see the 370Z being driven through the Alps at speed, while somebody unknown was watching the car from high up in the mountains. We would then see the car stop and the driver look up to a cable car, from where the person watching would open the door, jump out and fly his wingsuit racing the 370Z to a finish point landing next to the car.
For the biometric element, we would compare data from the Nismo driver and wingsuit athlete to see how their bodies responded during the course of the race.
Nissan Europe / Proud Robinson / TBWA
Nissan Europe / Proud Robinson / TBWA
Social / Branded
We travelled to Switzerland for a location recce and met with several potential wingsuit athletes. Our executive producer and aerial safety coordinator had both worked with wingsuits before, so we had a good idea on the right people to approach. We signed up Dave Barlia and Barry Holubeck, both respected wingsuit athletes, who fly together every day and are very familiar with the filming process. The 370Z was driven by Nissan GT Academy winner Peter Pyzera.
The recce gave us the chance to get a feel for the area and fully understand the best way of producing this film, with safety as our prime concern. We scouted several locations for the car and wingsuit runs and met with local fixers, mountain rescue teams and aerial filming teams.
Back in the UK we started assembling crew and scheduling the shoot. Our director was Nigel Simpkiss who has a long-standing heritage in benchmark automotive films and commercials. Grant Wardrop came on board as one of the executive producers and the filming would be done by Iain May and Ben Joiner assisted by Chris Dunford. The minicam rigs were managed by Jon Shepley. We also put together a second unit to cover the Juke Ride analysis and produce a behind the scenes film for press use, which was directed by Leigh Brooks and filmed by Richard Lynch.
Filming took place over four days in August around the Interlaken region of the Swiss Alps. Most of the car and wingsuit scenes were shot separately except for the hairpin and end sequence. We had rolling road-blocks for the road sequences and a helicopter fitted with a cineflex camera for the aerial photography.
The main film, the Juke Ride analysis and Behind The Scenes cuts were all delivered in October and Nissan released the content primarily via its Nismo YouTube channel along with other motorsport related digital channels. The main film went on to be their single most-watched piece of online content ever, topping 1m + views in the first two weeks and won a prestigious IVCA award for use of sound in a film.
The wingsuit athletes, Dave and Barry fly every day in this area and are very familiar with the terrain and changing weather. It was their decision, alongside our aerial safety coordinator Dave Emerson, as to whether a jump would be safe or not and we worked the schedule around this as required.
The majority of the wingsuit jumps were from a helicopter as it gave us control over where they flew and we could aim for the longest routes to capture as much footage as possible from the air.
We ran as many cameras as possible on the shoot to make sure that we had plenty of options for the edit and could make the most of the extreme action and location.