Scorched: Could the Subaru BRZ get any hotter?

Most creative agencies are quite frankly rubbish at making car videos, so it comes as something of a surprise when we find one that’s more than just tolerable.

The problem stems from their limited understanding of the audience, especially discerning enthusiasts and a tendency to over-dramatise the most humble (and undeserving) of motors.

So when the folks from Tribal DDB Toronto got in touch last week, we prepared ourselves for another disappointment, after all what would a bunch of agency-types know about the driving appeal of Subaru’s ground-breaking BRZ coupe?

However this is the same team that brought us the award-winning Sexy Subaru ads for the Forester – so perhaps their latest film, ‘Scorched’, would offer something similarly outside the norm.

The video is set in a parking garage where viewers watch the destruction of nearby materials from an unknown heat source – eventually the cause is revealed to be Subaru’s BRZ as it appears through the smoke in a slow-mo drift.

The Phantom Flex high-speed camera from Vision Research.

The storyline is typically cryptic – Subaru’s BRZ is the ‘hot’ car of the moment, hence the visual representation of melting paint and the video title, ‘Scorched’, so most of us will probably be switching off at this point.

But stay with it, because the real story is how the team filmed the drift using a Phantom Flex High-Speed Camera.

The Phantom Flex is one of those remarkable super high-speed camera’s which show us motion that we normally don’t see. Often referred to as ‘God Vision’, the camera shoots at variable frame rates up to 1000fps at 1080p, which means that 10 seconds of capture time (at 1000fps) can be played back in a little under 7 minutes.

It’s the most sensitive high-speed camera available today and enabled the film crew to accentuate the minute changes in attitude as the BRZ tips sideways, even picking up the tiny bubbles in the water just before a nearby puddle starts to boil.

The technology is far from being cheap – ranging between $50,000 and $150,000 depending on specification – but just look what value it delivers from just a few seconds of footage.

The high-performance art of perfect destruction..

Subaru Canada’s high-speed-camera-fest in ‘Scorched’ coincides with another successful Canadian car advert, this time featuring BMW’s M5.

The 2-minute film, “Bullet”, features the elegance of classical music, slow-motion photography and the M5′s sonorous 4.4-litre V8 engine to create an automotive fantasia of sights, sounds and perfect destruction.

It’s been popular with web audiences too – clocking up 3.7 million views and 230,334 social shares since it launched 4 weeks ago.

Could this be the beginning of a new trend?

As high-speed cameras become more affordable, look out for more of these ‘performance art’ techniques in films, adverts and perhaps even a few automotive road tests. Now there’s an idea..

p.s. no agencies were harmed in the making of this article – well none that didn’t deserve it – we might even go so far as saying some of them aren’t really rubbish at all. Mostly.