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28th May 2015
Long and winding road
Title of film: Honda, Endless Road
Director: Chris Palmer
Production Company: Gorgeous
Gorgeous director Chris Palmer talks us through the mind boggling exercise of creating the Honda Endless Road commercial

We have to admit that first thoughts were ‘oh no not another car ad with the vehicle cruising up a mountain set to a soundtrack … doesn’t feel like a Chris Palmer ad’. But what a nice touch, we had to smile. What were your initial thoughts about the original brief and how did these change with your treatment and throughout the production?

The original brief was virtually a blank sheet of paper but we were building on where we’d left off on the previous Honda CR-V spot (See in Related Content).

First I had to create the illusion with a full-size moving car in the real world – which was really tough and relatively time consuming. I didn’t start on the treatment until after the idea had been bought by the client.

The big change, or upheaval, was that by the time it had gone through research we could no longer shoot on location due to the weather so I had to figure out a solution

In fact how did you work it out? Right or left brained?

Intuition, hard work and luck. More gut feel than understanding physics.

Looks as though you had a nice time on location or was it all created in a CGI suite?

Neither. It was a 1:10th scale miniature set in a studio, the only CGI was the car.
Everything had been worked out to the nth degree by the shoot so it was like having a few days off.

So you do plan everything down to the minutest detail before production begins?

More minute than you could possibly imagine. With a job like this, if you’re a millimeter out the consequences are disastrous.

What was the most testing part of creating the spot?

The biggest problem was trying to explain how it worked to other people. Most people didn’t believe it would work, but luckily there were a couple of people who did.

I don’t sound very technical so technical people find it hard to take me seriously,
also we’re working in an area that very few people understand. It was similar process to the last Honda illusions ad – but far, far more complex.

At the beginning of the process I’d have to have a break every couple of hours because I was using way more of my brain than I’d normally do and it just wasn’t up to it. After a couple of months it got up to speed!

See in Related Content for Chris’ production sketches

Honda, Endless Road Agency: McGarryBowen ECD: Angus Macadman and Paul Jordan Creative Team: Charlotte Warmough and Holly Fallows Planner: Michael McCourt Agency Producer:  Sian Parker Business Director: Alice Tendler Film Production: Gorgeous Director: Chris Palmer Producer: Rupert Smythe Editor: Scot Crane @ The Quarry Post Production: Fatiboo & Glassworks Flame: Lewis Saunders @ Fatiboo 3D: Jodi Bares @ Glassworks Colourist: Seamus O’Kane @ The Mill Audio Production: Munzie Thind @ Grand Central Music: Twisted Nerve Main Theme Composer/Arranger: Bernard Herrmann