The 200 Horsepower Photography

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Tony Santos

What happen when you captured light by filming it in a very special way, combining video and still camera for a purpose of creating a light paint on a wide-open darkened parking lot.Volkswagen wants to delight everyone if the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 200HP could create a painting using it’s headlamps and tail lamps light spots. The idea comes from the artistic light trails left by the car on the long exposure photography. To even give you a view on how they make it, press release, sample images and video are patiently waiting for you after the cut. Check it out.

Press Release:

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI puts on a real performance. Inspired by the light trails left by cars in long exposure photographs, Volkswagen Canada’s launch campaign for the all-new 2012 Jetta GLI shows performance in a whole new light. Forgoing Hollywood-style, computer-generated effects for a more authentic achievement, the spot exhibits a “painting” created by the headlights and tail lamps of the 200 horsepower GLI, the high-performance version of Volkswagen’s popular Jetta model, as it streaks around a darkened parking lot.


In order to help keep it real, Red Urban Canada, one of Volkswagen Canada’s advertising agencies, brought in Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Hubert Davis to direct. Davis and his director of photography, Adam Marsden, developed a filming technique employing two different cameras – one video and one still camera – focused on the same image using a beam splitter, a device usually reserved for 3D filmmaking. Armed with a couple of these unconventional setups, one situated at road level and the other 14-stories up, the team was able to capture both the high-speed manoeuvering of the Jetta GLI as well as long-exposure photographs of the resulting light trails from the exact same angle.

“When we first started, the question was: can we do it for real?” explains Christina Yu, Executive Creative Director of Red Urban Canada. “Since no one had light painted with a car before, we were forced to figure out the solutions as we went. Such an innovative undertaking felt pretty suitable for what we think is a really innovative vehicle. Needless to say, the process was just as exciting as the final product.”

The final product, a 30-second spot airing on television and online, features the Jetta GLI acting as brush and a rain-slicked parking lot serving as the canvas. The performance culminates with a shot, taken from 150 feet above the parking lot, of the car completing a light painting of the Volkswagen logo.

In addition to the commercial and a short “making-of” documentary (also shot by Davis), the campaign will include some innovative out-of-home executions celebrating the Fall launch of the Jetta GLI featuring the actual long exposure photographs taken during the shoot.

Founded in 1952, Volkswagen Canada is headquartered in Ajax, Ontario. It is the largest volume European automotive nameplate in Canada, and sells the Golf, Golf Wagon, Golf GTI, New Beetle, New Jetta, Eos, Passat, Tiguan, Routan, and Touareg through 133 independent Canadian Dealers. It is the leader in affordable TDI Clean Diesel vehicle sales in Canada, and forms part of Volkswagen Group Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and is Europe’s largest automaker.

Red Urban, an advertising agency in Toronto, Canada, is one of Volkswagen Canada’s Agencies of Record, and a member of the Omnicom group of companies.

See how we pulled it off here. And check out some of our light paintings at [Image Credit]

Sponsored Post by Volkswagen

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