Rolls-Royce’s new Black Badge range has been launched with an appropriately brooding, intense and darkly beautiful film created by Found Studio and Imagination.

The Black Badge brand is aimed at a young audience and – according to Rolls-Royce - the “rule-breakers and risk-takers. For them, the city at night is a playground of opportunity." Er, right.

Hollow marketing words they may be - but the atmosphere in this slick short film is dangerous, dramatic and powerful. It, at least, lives up to the marketing team’s promise for this bold range of new cars.

“At the very first briefing, the guys at Imagination had told us that the Black Badge models were the darker 'alter ego' to the Wraith and Ghost and as such the launch film needed to reflect this more menacing approach," said Ian Walker, who produced the film. 

“It’s the first time that Rolls-Royce have ever done something like this tonally which was an exciting prospect in itself.”

Ferrofluid

The sinister, mysterious feel of the film was created thanks to a magnetic fluid called ferrofluid, which responds to powerful magnets, and laser-cut steel numbers.

“Ferrofluid has an almost alien quality to it both in the way it moves and how it reacts to different materials.  All of us agreed it would be a great treatment for this film."

Ferrofluid may be pretty – but unfortunately it is also a “nightmare to work with. It gets everywhere and it stains everything!  It’s also really difficult to plan your day as so much of it is trial and error.  We shot everything macro and at high speed which added further complication.

“For the countdown we got a load of laser cut steel number made, covered them in the fluid which we manipulated with a couple of very powerful magnets.  The closer the magnet gets to the fluid the more it begins to spike and react.

“We had two Spirit of Ecstasy statuettes for the reveal, a silver and black one.  We had strict instructions not to get the black one dirty in any way shape of form; whereas the silver was covered in the fluid, cleaned, covered in fluid, cleaned…  All very time consuming but we got some lovely footage.”

“Hardly any” postproduction work

What looks like the result of clever visual effects was – remarkably - actually shot entirely in-camera

“We debated whether or not we should create a few scenes in CG but the footage was so beautiful that it didn’t seem necessary.  We normally do so much in the computer that it was nice to be able to just give everything a nice grade and put it out pretty much as we shot it.” 

As well as the ‘reveal’ film, Found Studio also created a ‘countdown’ film: