BMW 7 Series relaunch takes off like a luxury jet under shroud of secrecy

To relaunch the iconic BMW 7 Series model, the high-end vehicle mimics a takeoff of a luxury private jet. The team involved in the commercial shoot went to great lengths to conceal the car before its release.

The two-minute spot, created by Serviceplan and shot by Tony Petersen Film, used production service company LS Productions to pull off the logistically complex airport runway shoot without a single person seeing the new vehicle.

Contending with airports from around Europe, LS Productions sourced a location in the North of England with both the right aesthetic and the practical needs for the highly secretive shoot.

The newly-built airport location, yet to be opened to the public, meant that the crew of 130 people could conduct the three-day shoot in privacy.

The spot shows a man driving his 7 Series car to the airport and parking it so he can take his private jet for a spin. Close-ups of the exterior and the plush, quilted leather seats accent the high-end nature of the vehicle and tone of the ad. As the man taxis out of the hangar and requests take off from the tower, the weather becomes dark and stormy, and the flight is grounded. Instead of being upset, the man walks back to his car, gets in and treats his drive away as a plane taking off. The sequence showing the car gaining speed as the lights of the runway rush by. At the point of takeoff, a jet engine sound is heard and the car appears to emerge from the clouds, driving along an alpine road.

The tag merely states ‘The 7’ before showing the BMW crest and the German company name, Bayerische Moteren Werke.

The brooding weather conditions were key to the film’s storyline. The film, directed by Dan Di Felice, created the conditions of taking off in a storm, with LS Productions working in collaboration with an SFX team at Artem and local firefighters. They created a cloud of smoke and lashing rain as the car zipped down the runway.

Deva Smith, senior producer at LS Productions said: “We got to show off our brilliant locations that ticked the boxes of a tricky logistical and security brief, assembled a wonderful team and thus facilitated a cool script with some very talented people. On top of that we got to shoot on a runway with some proper SFX, a Russian Arm, a fire engine, a very cool car, and a quality production team from Germany headed by Carlo Walther.”

Walther, executive producer and managing partner at TP Films, added: “We looked at airports across Europe for this spot, and LS put forward a fantastic selection of which two were shortlisted initially. It went down to the wire between one in Switzerland and another in the north of England. As security of the new BMW 7 Series model was paramount, and LS had vast experience of the security measures needed, it was the perfect collaboration between TP Films, the airport and LS Productions. I felt in safe hands with Deva and his team from the minute we started the bidding process right through till wrap. LS, the crew and the staff were professional, honest and a joy to work with.”

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