• Apr 7, 2008
Click above to view the BMW M3 ad.

Ever since Industrial Light and Magic dropped Jurassic Park onto the scene, it's rare to see a movie, TV show or advertisement that doesn't involve some form of CGI. It's amazing what can be done by a handful of programmers and a case of RedBull, but something gets lost in translation when computerized effects are used in place of their analog forbearers. The advertising firm IdeaCity recognized this and melded high-tech wizardry with old-school filmmaking to create an absolutely beautiful ad for BMW's new M3.

The edifice for the spot began with a tour of BMW's M facility in Munich, where the IdeaCity crew studied the inner workings of the M3's 4.0-liter V8. They had three complete engines shipped out to Belgium, where manifolds were cut, cylinders were shaved and lighting holes were drilled to mount special cameras, lenses and lights. After two weeks of intensive study and preparation, the team took another four, 20-hour days to film what happens inside the 420 hp mill during a single revolution. The completed spot was filmed at 10,000 frames-per-second and doesn't utilize any form of computer-generated effects. We've already watched it a half a dozen times and we think you'll do the same. Check it after the jump.








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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man, and people tell me that I have to suspend some disbelief...

      Bunch of downers here... ;-)

      Just saw this ad on CNN-HN a few minutes before refreshing Autoblog, and despite it's technical 'issues' it is a very compelling ad, and thus a success.

      It is a great alternative to the ever louder and flashier siezure-inducing ads that normally play.

      Quiet, slow, and dramatic, even if not 100% accurate. Others wish they were so compelling.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I could make that same commercial using parts found at Autozone. No way they killed three M3 V8s to make that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, a bunch of non-engineers, hires 1-2 engineers, waste a perfectly good M3 engine. Show *different* sequences of the combustion process to made it look like one (the video should have resulted in a backfire). Have [expensive] stuff shipped allover Europe so they can 'learn' how an engine works to figure out how the ad will 'show its essence'. In the end a 30sec clip with no punch (rather seen the valves working in real-time) and reproducing what's been know since Ford (i.e. an air pump burning fuel).

      What a waste of time.

      But all the BMW fans are salivating over it--now I'm confused.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Link doesnt work?
      Can someone post direct link in comments?

      thanks!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, I just saw this on the HD tv's in the cafe on campus where I SHOULD be studying.
      Watching this was way better than reading about Labor unions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You all really think it was that pricey to make that commercial?! Have you seen others? Paid Celeberties? I am sure it was cheap and very unique!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well your name is Quattrofan and I have a pic of my BMW, so I think I know where each of us stands :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Honestly if you consider the costs of CGI, and actors, your definitely right the production costs on this commercial have to be a value.

        When you factor in the costs of the engines are you factoring in BMW's costs or the price they charge the end user. Remember alot of the costs of these engines is the R&D costs to create them not the individual cost to produce each engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Absolutely beautiful. Internal combustion at its best.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, that was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. What a ton of work! That is a very cool commercial, though. Great cinematography! Amazing Physics in action.
      • 6 Years Ago
      CRAZY CAR!
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow, they could have used this during the superbowl and be charged $2.6m for 30 seconds...on top of production costs of course
      • 6 Years Ago
      /b/ would call that 'win'

      For the 98% of you who don't get that, this commercial rules.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think they would call that epic win with cries for MOAR
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great idea, Fantastic. This is exactly what you think of as BMW but it needs an engine Rev/bark at the end of the commercial.
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