Longtime Super Bowl advertiser Hyundai purchased two 30-second in-game TV slots during the February 2016 climax to the NFL season. Hiring four world-class directors from Santa Monica-based Biscuit Filmworks to help create their Super Bowl 50 ads, Hyundai faced-off in the first quarter of the game with The Chase. Directed by Aaron Stoller, the brief thriller ad shows two hikers being chased through the woods by hungry bears, before escaping in their new 2017 Elantra — thanks to the car’s remote-start function.
Filmed in Marin County’s Samuel P Taylor State Park, this otherwise tranquil area was a hotbed of activity for two chilly weekdays in December 2015. It was an elaborate and professional production for a 30-second spot. There were more than 15 production vehicles and at least 45 personal vehicles belonging to cast and crew on the park’s campsites and day-use lot.
The California State Parks Bay Area District’s environmental scientists cleared the filming. Cast — including two well-trained bears — and crew followed specific guidelines to prevent any negative impact to state parklands and were closely monitored by Supervising Ranger Rose Blackburn during the two days of filming.
According to Ranger Blackburn: “The lead production staff members were all very professional and, I believe, truly wanted to make sure that what they were doing wasn’t going to cause any harm to this special place. I was able to go to them at any time if I saw something that needed correction and they responded immediately.”
Call of nature
Additional State Park Rangers, park aides and volunteers were enlisted for traffic control within the campground and along the popular Cross Marin Trail whenever the bears were out of their trailers being filmed. The animals were always enclosed within an electric fence when being filmed and posed no threat to the public or the environment. They were well behaved, well treated and enjoyed having their pictures taken with the rangers.
Biscuit Filmworks was so appreciative of Samuel P Taylor State Park’s beautiful redwoods they made a generous $10,000 donation to assist with the park’s interpretation and natural resource programmes.
When the working day was complete, Blackburn said: “I was impressed by the level of talent brought in for a car commercial, including director of photography Janusz Kaminski. Janusz worked on 2015’s Bridge Of Spies, has been nominated multiple times for Oscars and won for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. He has a big artist personality to match his talent, and between him and the bears it was a fun and interesting film shoot.”
At the time of writing, The Chase ad has been viewed more than 26 million times on YouTube.