Making Of: Ford Lightning // Every Generation

February 16, 2024

Concept

Director Nate Townsend wrote a beautiful story about a father daughter camping trip to Sequoia. Here’s an excerpt from his treatment:

‘A father takes his young daughter on a fishing trip in the Ford F-150 Lightning. Throughout the trip, the daughter's interests shift from headphones and iPad games to fly fishing and camp fires. This cherished opportunity to recharge is made possible by the F-150 Lightning and its innovative features.’

He chose the Ford Lightning as the centerpiece for his story, as the vehicle is versatile and well suited for the outdoors. The goal here was to showcase the capabilities of an EV out in the wild as a tool for adventure.

Tone & Feel

A deeply American story of a father and daughter embarking on an adventure. Inspired by the culture of the Ford F-150,  this film was brought to life with grit and vigor. We chose to place the innovations of the F-150 front and center. While the Ford Motor Company looks towards an electric future, its mission is guided by the values of its customers and the world we inhabit.

From the music to the setting to the cinematography, we sought out to create a romantic portrait of rural America. Our imagery — captured on anamorphic lenses —  draws inspiration from films like Interstellar and Captain Fantastic.


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Production

We cast here in LA using Orange Street Casting who helped us cast a real father daughter duo. We arranged wardrobe, and all of the travel preparations our of the Porch House office in Santa Monica.

Our DP, Mike Koziel, chose to use a Sony Venice II with Hawk V-Lite Anamorphic glass. In our opinion this combo is unbeatable. We love the way the visuals came out, especially those gorgeous rainbow flares.

The entire piece was shot over the span of two days. One day dedicated to running footage, and the other day reserved for the performances. We traveled to 4 locations within Sequoia for this spot, and although it was a ton to fit on short days with Daylight Savings, we had an awesome crew who knocked it out of the park.

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Edit / Post Production

The piece was edited by our Director Nate Townsend, who put together a beautiful story. We felt it best for him to edit as he crafted the story from its inception.

For color, we brought on Parker Jarvie of Company 3. His skillset is amazing, and he really was able to make our frames pop. We love the palette he chose for this one.

Final mix and SFX was handled by Mike Southworth. We were able to record quite a bit of ADR and blend it into the story for the finishing touches. Hats off to the entire post team.


Photography: Andrew Schneider

Below is a photo set from our on-set photographer - Andrew Schneider.


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Director Q&A

A brief Q&A with Director Nate Townsend:

How did you approach this spot conceptually?

Much of the advertising in the EV space draws inspiration from cutting-edge tech and innovation. I felt that the Lightning called for a different approach – a spot as much about the truck owner as the truck itself. I settled on a story about a father and daughter embarking on a camping trip – a story that would resonate with truck owners and showcase the Lightning in its natural environment.

What was unique about selling the F-150 Lightning?

Given the storied history of the Ford Motor Company, it was important to celebrate a rapidly changing future while paying homage to legacy. While the Lightning’s innovations are present throughout, the values guiding that innovation – family, heritage, tradition – are most central.

What do you hope audiences take away from this spot?

A major takeaway is that we can embrace technology while also finding time to disconnect. As seen in our father and daughter’s camping trip, technology can even enhance the experience.

I also hope this spot resonates with consumers reluctant or uncertain about EVs – a demographic that makes up a large part of this market. Truck owners will hopefully see themselves in this story, and know that they too have a place in the EV revolution.