We kicked off the 2020 season with the launch of the ‘We Are Fighting Campaign’, showing the work going on behind the scenes to get ROKiT Williams Racing back into contention on the F1 grid.
‘We Are Fighting’ was a new statement of intent from a team doing everything in its power to get back to their former glory. Our film was to be proof of that in action, showing the work being done in various departments seeking to build a race-worthy car.
We wanted to give a true sense of urgency, bringing a drama to the cinematography through low-light set-ups, often with single subjects illuminated in frame. We wanted to show that this is a 24 hour operation, fuelled by a workforce that strives tirelessly to improve the team’s output. This plays into Williams’ brand identity as the ‘family team’ and one of the last independent team on the grids with a modest workforce size.
FW43 Car Launch
To announce the launch of the newest Williams F1 livery – we decided we wanted to create something suitably dramatic, with a strong use of sound design and lighting.
We decided to film a single-shot sequence and use moving-head lights in order to enhance the firing up of the car. Then, reveal the new livery in its beauty with a full view of the car. The basic idea was to shoot two different takes: the first part would show the car in silhouette, with dramatic lighting and sound to build suspense, the second part would then reveal the new livery.
An F1 car is a very delicate item – especially ahead of the Barcelona Testing weeks. We knew our time with the car was precious and in order to get the most out of our time with the car, we created a 3D animation to replicate the camera movement and begin planning how many shots and time we would need on set and for post-production. Once we’d finished the 3D animation, we sent it over to our sound designer, who used this as the basis upon which to build the soundtrack.
Lighting plays a lead role in this dramatic reveal: at first it needs to give a sense of contrast and power, before becoming smooth and focused on the intricate details of the car.
The shoot “day” began at 10pm, giving us time to rehearse and test different lighting set ups before our protagonist – the car – arrived at 2am.
Originally we’d planned to have the car for eight hours, but in actuality, we only had it for four! We were on a tight schedule, which meant that as soon as the shoot ended, we had to dash back home: start editing and grading the film in order to deliver it two days later.
For the first part of the shoot, we rehearsed with two tables in the middle of the studio. Once the car arrived we were able to get a few takes with different lighting setups to give us more choice in the post-production process.
Once this was in the bag, we had to quickly change the lighting setup for the second part of the film. In order to create the beauty shot we had in mind, we needed a soft-top source and a bright floor in front of the car to separate it from the background.
The most challenging part of this shoot was starting with a full view of the car and finishing on the rear wheel – our priority was to have a good looking end frame. We then had to reverse the shot in post-production and match the timing with our animatic reference.
We finished filming around 7am – just in time to hand over the studio for the still session. The car then departed to Barcelona, for the 2020 Spring test session at Circuit de Montmelo.