Range Rover | View From The Top
We were super excited to collaborate with Conde Nast and JLR on this Range Rover project set against the backdrop of California's breathtaking coastline and renowned architecture.
Director Lukas Dong brought the concept to life with a stunning visual plan to capture the Range Rover as it ventured up the coast from Los Angeles to Big Sur Big Sur. All the while making stops to appreciate the iconic architecture integrated into the natural surroundings and uncover its rich history. The Range Rover ends its journey at the beautiful ‘Range Rover House’ situated on an amazing cliffside in Monterey.
The similarities between the attention to detail by Adler when designing a space to that of Range Rover’s design are highlighted in this project. The fusions between Adler, Conde Nast, Range Rover, and the Big Sur Coastline collectively bring forth themes of exceptional design that seamlessly meld with the natural scenery.
TONE + FEEL
The cinematography needed to capture both the finest details and the grandeur of Big Sur's landscape. Director Lukas Dong's vision called for deliberate, unhurried visuals that highlight the unique character of each location. The lines between the road, architecture, and Range Rover also are used in each image to unify the overall composition.
Our DoP, the talented Paul Theodoroff, collaborated closely with LD to craft the perfect imagery and lighting for the shoot. Together they wanted to authentically convey the essence and emotion of the coastal drive, immersing the audience in the experience one feels when embarking on the drive themselves. They achieved this by harnessing natural lighting and framing the expansive scenery through the Range Rover's interior, creating a connection between the car and the coastal landscape.
The project was shot over two days in Monterey and Big Sur, California. It was an exciting opportunity to shoot along one of the most picturesque coastlines in the US, and on top of this, we were fortunate to have exceptional weather with misty mornings and vibrant sunsets. Beyond the natural scenery, shooting the cars and the design of the house was great fun and even better because of the energy the crew brought to the set.
The shot list was long and included several different locations in the tight schedule for the two days, but Porch House maintained a nimble crew that could relocate quickly. Our ability to execute lengthy shot lists quickly without sacrificing quality and artistic vision is something we take great pride in. Lukas and Paul worked together to align vision with reality and the visuals that came out of this collaboration are some of our favorite yet.
When it came to filming the Range Rover's coastal journey, our primary focus was on arm car work, integrating the car with the scenery to immerse the viewer in the adventure. Arm car work presents its own set of challenges due to various moving parts, but the end product is consistently spectacular. To tie all the elements together in post-production, we recorded a voice-over with Jonathan Adler, providing a way to tie together all of the shoot’s different elements.
DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: LUKAS DONG
Q: How did you find that singular storyline that connected Range Rover and Jonathan Adler?
LUKAS: When Jonathan and I met for the first time he said some inspiring things that informed a good part of my approach. He spoke about his design philosophies and how throughout his life he has been drawn to places and things that are very "singular," and uniquely themselves. He quickly connected this thought to the iconic design of the car and how hearing the name "Range Rover" immediately paints an image in someone's head. One could say the same about the architecture along the Carmel coast, as well as Jonathan Adler's style and work; they are all very clear visioned and confidently themselves.
Q: What drew you to this project?
LUKAS: My work these days is split between automotive commercials and architectural/design brand films. This project was a very natural confluence of the two of those things. Cars, architecture, and design are a big part of my life, and I always embrace a project where I can bring a bit of myself and have fun while doing it.
Q: How did the Big Sur landscape inspire your ideas for the project?
LUKAS: When I was planning this project, and envisioning the drive up the California coast, I landed on three main thoughts to guide the film.
Timelessness - the idea that the California coastline is always evolving but always instantly recognizable - similar to the Range Rover's silhouette.
A trip full of nuance - Despite being one of the most famous roads in America, amidst familiarity there is always something new to be discovered – how can we capture that through the side roads, detours, and coffee stops?
Layering - I was really drawn to the idea that whether you’re traveling North, towards the water, or inland, the California coastline is always unfolding and revealing new layers every step of the way. This "unfolding" is also a popular theme in architectural design. This felt like a very natural connection between the architecture in the film and the landscape around us, and even the running footage we captured. We wanted all three elements to speak to that feeling of unfolding - camera moves that flow around corners, landscape shots that pull back to reveal new vistas, and running footage that starts on one element of the car and moves to reveal another.
Q: What is your process for keeping focus on a fast-paced shoot?
LUKAS: On fast-paced shoots with limited time, I try to be very intentional with my shotlist. I do a lot of scouts and spend significant time designing shots, and then stripping them down to the essential moments that let me tell the story in a compelling and beautiful way. The clearer I can visualize the end product, the more intentional I can be with a shooting schedule. When it comes to the day itself, a good AD I can trust, and a DP who can lead their team with pace makes everything else fall into place.
Q: What was a highlight of the shoot for you?
LUKAS: The final location of the shoot was this long stretch along Highway 1 that we had from late afternoon through sunset. It was right on the water, and we were blessed with perfectly clear weather. Sadly there is so much more fantastic footage from this light/location that didn't make the cut, but it was kind of a surreal location to have free reign at and I think everyone on the team felt like they were in a dream.
Once we wrapped on the shoot, our team immediately transitioned into post-production, managing all aspects of it in-house. This project demanded the delivery of numerous components for the client, resulting in a total of 150 assets by the end of the process.
We partnered with the Mill and colorist Paul Yacono. Watching him work was an experience in itself.
We enjoyed seeing the project take shape during post-production, and it underscored our capability to manage every facet of the production process effectively. We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to collaborate on this project with Conde Nast and Jaguar Land Rover and to have worked with such an exceptional crew.
For any inquiries on this production or general reach out, please email Cody@porchhouse.co
- The Porch House Team