If you love motorsports, you’re in for a treat. We spoke to Allan Hardy, founder of The Dreamers based in Gold Coast, Australia about working on the latest Supercheap Auto Oils campaign, bringing some of the best drivers and cars together for some high octane action-packed filmmaking. Watch the final video below and see some adrenaline pumped behind-the-scenes photos captured by Andy Green in the full article below.
This is the third year you have produced the Oils campaign for Supercheap Auto, can you give a short summary of the history of these campaigns?
Supercheap Auto are an amazing client based here in Australia, who genuinely love and live motorsport, so for a production company like ours, they are the perfect partner. For three years now, we have worked closely with them to develop creative that combines authentic action, amazing race cars and strong brand awareness. The first year we dropped race trucks from helicopters onto Surfers Paradise beach and raced through Brisbane city, the next we featured Hollywood actor Danny Trejo and filmed on Japan’s Battleship Island, and this year we created our own old school police chase, throwing back to the classic 1970’s car chase films we all love.
What do you like about doing the Supercheap Auto Oils campaigns?
It is a crazy mix of high-end film equipment, difficult & dangerous conditions, unique one-off stunts and high-powered race cars. It’s definitely the dream job, but it takes many months of pre-production and a team of specialists to ensure the three shoots days run like clockwork. We’ve never seen another commercial project like it and the crew have a lot of fun working on it.
This is the third year that Supercheap Auto has done this campaign, where did the idea come from for this year’s project?
These campaigns don’t start out with a traditional creative brief. Supercheap Auto first developed the template by bringing together four of their major oil partners to create one hero brand campaign, based not on the product, but action. It is a really groundbreaking approach for any Australian retailer to pull off. From there, our team is effectively given the general brand parameters and allowed to run wild on brainstorming the coolest, wildest and most authentic campaign we can. Between our creatives and the motorheads at SCA we then refine and execute.
How much planning was required and how was it executed?
This year we had three intense shoot days, with multiple units shooting across five locations. Pre-production spanned around five months and was an intricate juggling act combining the official Stadium Super Truck race team, with our traditional stunt & safety team, with some amazing locations provided by the Kyogle Council & community and finally our traditional film production crew.
Our camera team was made up of very unique and multi-skilled cinematographers such as Cameron March (DOP), Cam Batten (Drone & tracking vehicle) & Tom Waugh of Ignite Digi (Drone). We very selectively collaborate with these creatives as they know how to work in small crews, across multiple roles, with high-end equipment, while delivering high-quality work under pressure. They are amazing!
This year, we also got to collaborate with Marty & Moog from Mighty Car Mods, who were great in their acting roles and also did an amazing job preparing the stunt police car with their team of mechanics.
The campaign featured quite a number of stunts, did they all go to plan?
This year we scaled back on the ‘Hollywood’ stuff and scaled up on the real action stunts. We had 2 massive gap jumps, a river smash, barn smash and a heap of low flying police helicopter chase scenes, not to mention the traditional driving action. Aside from a bit of engine and panel damage every stunt went to plan and came off perfectly for the final film. We do plan these stunts around realistic driving sequences and use experienced racing drivers, so although it all looks pretty wild, it’s all very well co-ordinated.
What challenges did you have to overcome throughout the campaign?
The biggest challenge with a project like this is fitting the amount of stunts and sequences we needed, across 5 locations in just 3 days. Every element on it’s own is quite achievable, but to do it all within budget in just 3 days was the hard part.
“We very selectively collaborate with these creatives as they know how to work in small crews, across multiple roles, with high-end equipment, while delivering high quality work under pressure”
– Allan Hardy
What equipment did you use to execute the film?
For this production, we had a number of camera setups. We used five RED Cinema packages and two DJI Inspire 2 drones. For any action based projects where coverage and speed is the priority, we stick with RED. It is far more affordable to assemble a large team of owner/operators with action cinematography experience, as opposed to assembling a traditional film crew and hiring camera packages via a rental house. Plus, the RED cameras take the thrashing we give them better (dirt, water, impacts etc.)
In addition to these, we had a GSS equipped helicopter provided aerial footage with a RED Epic-W & Canon CN-E 170-120mm lens combination.
Due to the dusty and dangerous conditions, we utilised some custom dust & splash covers to help keep the cameras as protected as possible and to keep them running longer between breaks. However, by the nature of this shoot, the camera team were constantly cleaning and prepping between takes and at the end of every day.
On the ground, the Ford Tickford Ranger tracking vehicle was used with the Flowcine Black Arm supporting the DJI Ronin 2. For lenses, we used the Fujinon 19-90 on the tracking vehicle and the Sigma 18-35 & 50-100 cinema zooms for our Miller Arrow X3 tripods & handheld work. We clipped the Misfit Atom directly onto the lenses.
“Bright Tangerine is modern, forward thinking, adapting to an ever changing market, producing quality products. They create lightweight, but solid products that are smart and get rid of unneccessary/outdated features that just add weight and cost.”
– Allan Hardy
PRODUCTION COMPANY: The Dreamers
DIRECTOR: Allan Hardy
DOP / 2nd UNIT DIRECTOR: Cameron March
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Bauer, Reece Moger, Allan Hardy
PRODUCER: Cam Pianta
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Josh Weier
CREATIVE: Josh Weier, Allan Hardy, Reece Moger
1st AD: Dave Normand
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Drew Bailey
STUNT COORDINATOR: Jimmy Christiansen
SAFETY SUPERVISOR: Paul (Halfy) Phillips
STUNT ASSISTANTS: Nigel Harbach, Mark Duncan, Rohan Smith
MEDICS: Aaron Rae, Michael Simms
CAMERA DEPT: Allan Hardy, Brandon Harrison, Cam Batten, Cameron March, Declan May, Micheal Jennings, Tom Waugh, Adam Huddlestone
DRONE PILOTS: Cam Batten, Rian Taylor, Brad Day
TRACKING VEHICLE: Cam Batten, Declan May
PHOTOGRAPHY: Andy Green
BTS VIDEO: Brad Day
DATA: Condal Plunkett
GAFFER: David Russel, Ben Russel
HELICOPTER PILOTS: John Cadwell, James “griffo” Griffith
SOUND RECORDIST: Caleb Sullivan
TALENT: Martin “Marty” Mulholland, Blair “Moog” Jocelyn, Alan Butler, Ben Neal, Reece Moger
DRIVERS: Travis Milburn, Blade Hildebrand, Rob Whyte, Zac Van Matre, Cory Creed
PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR: Dayna Yates
RUNNER: Katie-may Hollet
ART DEPT: Bea betty, Mike Squire
UNIT MANAGER: Jamien Sheen
CATERING: Gateway fine foods
VEHICLE WRAPS: Norwell motorplex
EDITOR: Allan Hardy
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Cameron March, Tom Antolini
COLOUR: Joe Lancaster
VFX DEPARTMENT: Joe Lancaster, Tim Bahrij
POSTER DESIGN: Ben Bartels
STORYBOARDS: Sam Mckenzie
SOUND DESIGN: Caleb Sullivan