Partnering with Carnage Films, we worked together to develop a film that would see the car pushed to its limits by the determination of our protagonist, mountaineer Kenton Cool.
He’s been out in Kazakhstan test driving the car but lost track of time, as he gets sidetracked trying out a few uncharted climbing routes. A text message reminds him he has a deadline to get the car back to Frankfurt for its global launch at Frankfurt Autoshow. And the only option is to take the most direct route back, 'as the crow flies, or as the Defender drives' which involved the car driving over some impassable terrain, a route no ordinary vehicle could attempt or succeed at.
Alongside the talented Automotive Director, Mark Jenkinson from Rogue Films, the team departed for Almaty, Kazakhstan early August. We arrived ready to face the challenge of trying to achieve an insanely ambitious project, in a country where service production was in its infancy.
The planning of this production should not be underestimated. Arriving at the location on the first day, I was struck by how remote we really were – four hours from the nearest city, with nothing in-between. Huge distances between hotels and locations were covered each day. We had to be fully prepared, the equipment list totally locked down and everything needed to be in place, because once we were out on the road, there was no option to return for anything left behind.
As well as large international and local film crew forming main and second camera film units, a Russian Arm team, International drone teams and editors, we were also supported by a full JLR car tech team and business protection as well as extreme mountain riggers and health and safety advisors. Getting equipment to the location was a feat in itself, and required the services of the president of Kazakhstan’s helicopter pilot and crew! The role each and everyone played was crucial to the success of a smooth-running production.