Fresh off the heels of "TRON: Legacy," Digital Domain joined forces once again with the team behind the film - director Joe Kosinski and editor Jim Haygood - on a new :30 spot for BMW via Grey West. Titled "Refuel," the spot brings back the brand's beloved tagline, "The Ultimate Driving Machine."
To promote the incredible fuel efficiency (and speed!) of the BMW 5 series, the spot features the car blazing down a long stretch of desert highway as a massive Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker appears overhead. The plane descends and a hatch opens. A long fuel dispenser reaches toward the BMW 5-series' open sunroof as an arm appears, coffee mug in hand, ready to receive a caffeine fill-up - way before the BMW, which gets 32mpg, requires one.
Digital Domain built the entire KC-135 digitally after conducting an intricate survey of the actual plane, obtaining reference photos and the plane's physical dimensions, as well as researching actual videos of KC-135 plane landings. The digital production team, led by VFX Supervisor Eric Barba then worked closely with Kosinski to determine stall speed and the kinds of real interactions that would take place between the car and the ground to make the spot wholly believable.
Barba's team took care to ensure the tracking was just right, so the camera matches precisely with the live-action to maintain believability. Digital Domain also added atmospheric effects - exhaust, heat coming off engines, and dust, as well as some sky replacement.