2017 marks 90 years since the first Volvo rolled out of the factory in Gothenburg, Sweden. A+A and Volvo approached us with the idea of making a retrospective of the variety of car models created by Volvo over the years. A walk down memory lane if you like and an opportunity for the audience to take part in Volvo’s rich history.
The project was logistically very challenging. On a normal production we deal with maybe one or two cars at a time. Here we had twenty. We realised early on that no matter what creative direction we went with it was paramount that we kept a steady flow of cars in front of the camera - with the added complexity that many of them were antique cars, requiring special care. So, that meant keeping it to a single location.
Since the film was going to be without a voice-over, or any text providing information, we needed to come up with a way to indicate what decade the different cars belonged to. We made the music the dramatic foundation of the film. It sets the pace and the tone. As the decades change, so does the music.
Then we put the cars in front of a huge LED-wall on which we displayed colors, textures, patterns and images matching the cars and their decade. A lot of time was spent during pre-production down in Volvo’s vast archives, digging through old photos and print material. A rare opportunity to take part in not only Volvo’s historical development but also 90 years of Swedish culture. All in all a real treat. The LED could also be used as a giant lighting source, which came in handy on a some of the shots.
This film was huge in scope and ambition, but an absolute pleasure to work on. And we’re more than happy with the result. The only negative comments heard so far are from viewers who wanted even more cars in it, but Volvo has made many, many models over the years. Keeping it down to only 20 wasn’t easy.
Produced by Edithouse Film Works in February 2017.
Commissioned by A+A for Volvo Cars.