In 2012, we launched Mazda “Revolution” – a unique campaign that imbued a new line of cars with a hip edge through STALKR’s found footage.
Since then we’ve gone on to make a dozen more ads for Mazda, charting their heritage and future, all springing from that original collaboration with editor Hank Corwin at Lost Planet and the creatives at The Garage/Team Mazda.
“Revolution” is about the love of driving, a universally relatable desire. With a bold title to service the creative process, we set out to find any footage that would inspire, that we could mold together to form a narrative montage. Hundreds of hours of footage were watched, sourced, discarded and/or licensed. The end product features a cumulative 86 shots (with over 4000 in the running), and was cited by Jalopnik as “Best Ad For ‘Green’ Technology In The History Of Advertising.”
STALKR Founder Dan Kern sat down with Studio Daily to discuss the project in detail. Here are a few of the highlights:
On process: We have a whole army of people scanning through hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hours of material. Then we select creatively what we think will work best. If you did this with storyboards, then you’d have to go out and shoot it. You’ll never find the perfect close-up or the perfect wide that you’ve boarded. The way our process works best is when we can work from a theme, like “courage” or “revolution”, and allow the material to tell its own story.
On filmmakers: Our starting point is to work exclusively with independent filmmakers and find material we’re passionate about, which we know the filmmaker is already passionate about. The imagery we find in this way is so different from the kind of generic, B-roll footage you find at stock houses. Our searches begin by looking for what is specific and unique about the creative brief, rather than what’s generic.
On montage: For us, it’s a storytelling tool. What we’re doing is actually producing licensable footage throughout time and space. We may start with 4,000 different scenes, but that’s our base to work from to tell a story that spans the whole heritage and history of, in this case, Mazda. The montage form also carries a whole emotional feeling and is what we’ve come to specialize in. We’re not aware of anyone else doing it in this way.
On puzzles: It’s so much about the whole that it’s difficult to isolate any one part. It’s like finding every piece of a jig-saw puzzle. It’s more about the texture and the taste and the magic that gels during the edit, and once that puzzle is together, then you’ve got one inseparable whole.
Read the rest of the interview here.