“FLIGHT, CAMERA, ACTION!” GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF FORD’S NEXT-GEN RANGER RAPTOR REVEAL STUNT FILM
Since launching the first Ranger Raptor in Europe, Ford has showcased the off-road prowess of its performance pick?up with a series of films that could easily be mistaken for set pieces from Hollywood action movies.
The latest film, out now on Ford of Europe’s YouTube channel, shows Next-Gen Ranger Raptor escaping a cargo plane, sliding under aircraft and powering through mud and water on an airfield. 1 The new video follows Ford’s “The Good, The Bad and The Bad-R-S-E” homage to Westerns, as well as the spectacular powerslides and dust clouds of the original Ranger Raptor reveal film.
Almost three months of planning preceded the shoot, which included 38 crew working for three days in controlled conditions at a secure airfield previously used to build and test military jet planes.
Before even reaching the real-life location, the team used concepts to create a fully?animated storyboard for the film, known as an animatic. Over 200 hours of work went into producing the animatic, which was then used to approve each shot and provide a template for the real filming.
The jumps and drifts were developed and performed by Paul Swift, a world leader in precision stunt driving with over 30 years’ experience, in consultation with Ford’s Ranger engineering team based in Australia. Swift also drove the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor in Ford’s live European reveal event for the vehicle, where he commended the powerful new 3.0-litre V6 engine and cutting?edge suspension design that allowed him to perform the jaw-dropping stunts.
In fact, the Ford engineers involved in planning the video were so confident Next-Gen Ranger Raptor could comfortably handle the stunts that every single shot shows a production vehicle with zero mechanical enhancements. The only modification was to fit a multi-point driver safety harness in place of the standard seat belt.
Swift worked with acclaimed director Nick Piper to show off Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s high?energy performance. Piper has previously shot adverts for global brands including Google and McDonalds, as well as music videos for iconic artists such as Madonna and Lenny Kravitz.
The pilots shown in the film are the actual pilots of the cargo plane, who are more used to moving freight across Africa than carrying new pick-ups. The film’s script required the eight-person aircrew to fly down the 1,800-metre runway at 200 km/h so high-speed cameras could show Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s dramatic escape from 22 metres of steel chain in the cargo hold.
The film crew used drones, specialised electric buggies and a “Robo Arm” camera car to capture the dynamic sequences. This system uses a robotic roof-mounted crane with a camera attached, enabling precision drivers and camera teams to get close-up car-to-car footage. A specialist safety team – including three airport fire trucks and crew – were also on hand throughout the shoot.
With all the footage captured, Ford’s creative agency partner Imagination then spent hundreds of hours in post-production to create seven different edits of the final film for a range of platforms and audiences. Since being uploaded, “Next-Gen Ford Ranger Raptor Cleared to Land in Europe” has received over 160,000 impressions at www.youtube.com/FordNewsEurope.
“This Raptor is phenomenal – I absolutely love it! It’s effortless. I was a bit concerned beforehand because of the ambition of the things we were trying to achieve, but this just laps it up. It makes my job very easy.”
Paul Swift, precision stunt driver, Next-Gen Ranger Raptor reveal film
“It sounded like a nuts idea when we first heard of it! I remember seeing the smiles on people’s faces when we first talked about this, but it perfectly matches the vehicle. This is a really exciting way to launch Next-Gen Ranger Raptor – we’ve got a loyal and excited fanbase, and I think they’re going to absolutely love this.”
James Cooper, Ranger Brand Manager, Ford of Europe