Making of…the new Ford Raptor campaign

The new Ford Ranger Raptor is the toughest, highest performing version of Ford’s best pick-up. And Locate had the privilege of seeing its explosive action up close and personal, producing the new campaign shoot in Austria’s Erzberg mine.

Producer Alex Hill knew when he took on the campaign brief from agency GTB – “make this epic” – that he was in for an extraordinary experience. After location research in northern Europe, including the UK and Slovenia, Locate pinpointed the perfect backdrop for Ford’s ambitious project: the Erzberg mine – a working iron ore mine in central Austria, known for its tough terrain and hosting the Enduro motorbike race.

Working in partnership with Location Austria, we teamed up with local legend Ernst Vogl and set about putting together the best team of individuals to make our shoot happen. Austrian Autocross champion Klaus Trondl was drafted in with his buggies for the ATV scene, and as fortune would have it the husband of the PR Manager at the mine rode a Harley Davidson so he got his crew together to help us with the opening sequence.

Director Loren Colson used his years of experience to pull in Casper Leaver of Top Gear fame, and Paul Swift – arguably the best precision driver the UK has ever seen.

We needed something big though, we needed to blow up the mountain.

Every day at the mine the workers conducted a controlled explosion across approx. 50m of the site. We knew if we could find out where that was and plan around it we could use it for the film. For the shot we needed, the team at the mine went above and beyond and blew up over 300m across three levels – an explosion unprecedented even for them.

There was no room for error to create that end sequence, logistically, technically and cinematically – on all levels any mistake would have cost us the shot. Loren and Casper worked together, using their expertise to ensure we could film the final scene without risking any lives, splicing two shots together to create the final result.

It’s a dream brief – go and have fun, make something EPIC. But the very nature of a brief like this presents production challenges for any experienced team. How do you capture the adrenaline-fuelled action that the client has requested whilst maintaining the level of professionalism and safety that the industry demands? It was a constant push and pull – pushing to get the most out of everybody, but pulling back when ambitions were stretched just that little bit too far.

Safety issues also carry with them high levels of stress for a shoot’s producer – between vehicles ragging around at high speed on an ore hillside with sheer drops, and shooting on a live mine with daily explosions, producer Alex Hill’s experience was crucial to keeping things running smoothly.

 

For all the stresses and danger, the results are spectacular. The team at GTB and Content Haus have made something quite incredible, and we were privileged to work with them to bring their ideas to life.

At Locate, these are the shoots we love best – the shoots that embody our core values of partnership, camaraderie, quality and adventure. The shoots that push us to the limits, and bring our creative ideas to life. It was a pleasure working with you Ford Raptor – an experience we won’t forget!

Take a look at the final campaign video below:

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