The G-Class has formed its own character over the generations. A timeless vehicle that was to become a legend through the years – #strongerthantime. Whether on- or off-road, the all-terrain vehicle impresses under all conditions with its performance, state-of-the-art assistance systems for safety and comfort, superb handling and a reinterpretation of its iconic design.
Stronger Than Time was created by Berlin based creative agency, antoni, and the film was directed by Sehsucht’s Ole Peters.
At the heart of the campaign is a 44 tonne amber-like block installation, with an original 1979 model G-Class suspended inside. This installation was produced in Hamburg then shipped to Detroit to be exhibited at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), to celebrate that these first Mercedes-Benz G-Class cars are still on the road today and many of the iconic design elements from the original model, can be found in the new generation G-Class models released this year.
Part CG, part live action, the Stronger Than Time film takes inspiration from both this epic installation concept and the new G-Class. Transitioning between macro perspectives of amber resin, to featuring the three new models of G-Class, each in their own unique environment.
Ole Peters and the team at Sehsucht were responsible for both visualizing the story and solving the technical challenges of the film, in particular designing the impressive transition sequences between the environments. The team invested in an upfront research period which was key in order to create a fluid journey throughout these transitions.
The film starts in a wide cosmos of amber with the camera zooming to a macro perspective of the resin, showing insects and dirt detail trapped within the amber. This amber environment then transitions to and from new environments, each introducing a new G-Class model, with the film’s finale shot zooming out to reveal the amber installation containing the suspended 1979 G-Class car.
Since there is no way to travel through the solid material in real life, Sehsucht reimagined this journey, building all the elements in CG, including the final installation and suspended car.
Filming for the desert and green landscapes was shot on location in the Spanish Pyrenees. While the desert shots required standard clean-up work, the green landscape was transformed, using 3D matte paintings and compositing, to give instead the appearance of an Iceland-esque terrain.
For the city location, the challenge was much bigger. Due to the high security surrounding the new car models, filming on location in a real city was not possible.
Drawing on a mix of Gotham City and Bladerunner as inspiration, Sehsucht created a variety of buildings, road structures and signage for the scene. In order to create realism the team also created a special method to generate unique lighting and furnishings for each individual room in every single building.
The impressive VFX and design was handled by Sehsucht’s Hamburg studios.
Sehsucht Director and Executive Creative Director, Ole Peters says:
“Amber has preserved the DNA of life for over 40 million years — the exceptional characteristic of the iconic G-class design is still predominantly the same after 40 years. This is an exception on the automotive market where cars tend to look more and more similar. The parallels between the preserved DNA in amber and the same design DNA of the G-class led to the core idea of this campaign and finally to the film.
One of the main challenges was to create a transition between dynamic and powerful driving shots of the G-Class and the journey at a macro level through the static amber material.”
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class will launch on 14.01.2018 and ‘Stronger Than Time’ will run as part of a global online campaign, launching online from 15th January 2018.
Stronger Than Time - Credits
Client: Daimler AG
Campaign Management: Ian James, Petra Wilmking, Janina Kunze
Agency: antoni, Berlin
Account Management: Robin Weintraut
Creative Direction: Martin Pross, Tilman Gossner, Alexander Holtz
Art Director: Matthias Bauer
Copy Writer: Alexander Holtz
Producer: Mark Rota
Production: Sehsucht, Hamburg
Director: Ole Peters
Exec. Producer: Jan Tiller
Producers: Tanya Curnow, Stephan Reinsch
Service Production Spain: Myway Production, Tina Dobslaw and Rita Gil
DOP: Bernd Wondollek
Design: Axel Brötje, Julius Brockelmann, Caroline Goehner
3D Lead: Daniel Jahnel, Timo von Wittken, Juan Pablo Brockhaus
3D: Sebastian Welti, Jannes Kreyenberg, Max Zachner, Thure Koch, Ben Watts, Florian Breg, Raphael Vincente, Alexander Siquans, Hannes Gerl, Christoph Gaudl
Additional Assets: Maurice Jochen, Ivan Vasiljevic & Digital Asset Tailors
Compositing Lead: Florian Zachau
Compositing: Jona Maluck, Alexander von der Lippe, Patrick Altmeier, Christian Reimann
Motion Design: Mitra Navab-Pour
Edit: Artur Jagodda, Sabine Panek
Music & Sound Design: Yessian Music
Producer: Ulrich Witt
Sound Engineers: Max Fritz, Michel Riecken, Robin Großkopf
Music Epic Trailer: ‘Judge & Jury’ by Paul Dinletir, Audiomachine
Voice Over Recording: Loft Studios Berlin