Going the ‘extra’ mile with Vauxhall!

Going the ‘extra’ mile with Vauxhall!

This month Vauxhall launched their media campaign for the Grandland and Crossland SUV models and we were commissioned to shoot the campaign hero stills. You may recall at the beginning of January we were in the highlands of Scotland with the cast and crew of this latest and most epic brand launch for Vauxhall.


The Vauxhall, McCann, Velocity, Craft and Hunky Dory team’s preparation for this creative concept was certainly intense as the art directors’ vision was for full on, Hollywood style widescreen cinematography with all the epic, movie-style set design, props & wardrobe. The strap line for the stills OOH & press campaign is ‘Every Star needs It’s Extras’ and ‘Extras Included’ for the TVC which relies heavily on a comedic impact.

Behind the scenes with the Warrior – wardrobe check

We were sent the storyboard for the commercial entitled “Warrior” and were delighted by the humourous tone. The concept features a medieval leader, in full battle regalia, racing out onto the battlefield to storm a castle, expecting his army to follow…. but they don’t – he’s left charging across an empty field alone! A voiceover then provides the tag line. “Isn’t it disappointing when extras aren’t included….” and you see the transition to the still of the new Vauxhall Griffin SUV Range which, as stated, come ‘Fully Loaded’ with all the ‘Extras’. Classic right?

In order to create the hero shots, we travelled up to Scotland, shooting in several different locations. The first, most striking, and most necessary when conjuring up a medieval battlefield and a castle that requires ‘storming’ is the castle. So, for a few freezing days at the beginning of the year, we were camped up at the imposing Craigmillar Castle. Do we look cold? 😉

BTS – do we look cold?

It was bleak and freezing, the perfect ambience for the creative concept – not so perfect for the crew, but hey we are pretty immune to it after years on location! After reading the brief for this particular project we had a very clear idea of the approach needed for this shoot and we went up mid-week for a tech recce, scouted the locations with the production team noting the conditions and the kit which would be necessary. Then it was time for work! The crew met me up in the land of the lochs and we set to work bringing the blockbuster creative to life.

Behind the Scenes with the lone ‘Warrior’ and ‘atmos’ (yes that is me hidden in the grass!)

First and foremost we had to get the castle shot to the layout angle and at best light, no easy feat, as the Castle is only a stones throw from the busy suburbs & city hospital, not exactly medieval, and nowhere near the craggy mountains as the final image would have you believe. Then it was a trip into the hills to capture, well the hills, really – the cars were positioned safely away from any actual battleground mud and floating embers from the flaming torches waiting for best light, shoot some skies and cloud formations from the castle battlements and finally some manicured foreground grass…..on a golf course. 

Behind the scenes – pre dawn start – setting up by floodlight & head-torches

So, as you probably know, little is as it seems in image production and our final hero shots are painstakingly composited together in Post, cleaned and graded; a product of not one, but several captures, seamlessly structured to produce the required visual result. And yet, we knew it should look as if you could come across the scene in reality. (Stills retouching by The Wizard – cheers Phil!)

Look out for the press ads in the usual places Top Gear, CAR magazine etc.. and a billboard or digi board near you, and of course – your phone!

DPS press ad - Griffin SUV
DPS (double page) press ad – Griffin SUVs
Single page press ad
Vauxhall SUV – Grandland X & Crossland X – Warrior Scotland

Excellence is going the extra mile”. – Joyce Meyer
Great pleasure to work on this project, some very challenging weather conditions for everyone on the shoot, but all for some fantastic end results. Nice one team!
As always, huge thanks to all the ‘extras’ 😉 involved on this stills and film project, too numerous to mention – all of the guys with Vauxhall, McCann, Velocity, Craft, Hunky Dory… production team, stills & film crew, and of course Mark, the cast of one…looking forward to working with you all again soon! – Nigel

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