How a song from the past can envision the future
We teamed up with agency Etcetera and production company PostPanic for ‘What’s Next?’, the latest three-minute-long film by LeasePlan, starring journalist and Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond. We went on a quest for a track that could fit the futuristic and visionary mood of the moving picture, which resulted in finding and licensing ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan.
In the LeasePlan film, Richard Hammond embarks on a cinematic, action-packed and unexpected journey, which gave MassiveMusic the chance to craft and adapt the original song to the movie’s different scenarios. The experimental song from 1979 features a rock rhythm section of drums and bass guitar. The use of additional analogue synthesisers, principally the Minimoog, makes the track sound ahead of its times and sets the pace for the entire movie.
A pioneer ahead of his times
Philip Oomen, Head of Search & Licensing at MassiveMusic, explains: “The collaboration between MassiveMusic, Etcetera and PostPanic proved to be a successful one, as we’re all very happy with the final result. Even though it was released 38 years ago, the post-punk electro track ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan was the perfect match for a commercial set in the future. During the production of the song, Numan decided to replace guitars with synthesisers and recorded them through guitar effect pedals. He’s considered one of the pioneers of electronic pop music.”
Peter van Leeuwen, Creative Director at Etcetera, adds: “Together with MassiveMusic, we did an extensive research in finding the right track, but it was the potential of the arrangement and the memorable opening that made us go for ‘Cars’.”
Ad Hoc Arrangements
“Because of the length of the commercial, the challenge here was to find a track that triggered recall and that could be easily shaped into something similar but unique. We embraced the challenge by taking the song apart and came up with several versions that could go along with the scenarios that keep on unfolding throughout the whole movie”, comments Guido Blom, Music Producer at MassiveMusic.
Mischa Rozema, Director at PostPanic, concludes: “It took an extensive search of multiple musical directions. MassiveMusic provided us with incredible tracks to choose from and Cars came out on top. The trick was to find a known track that would fit the dynamic of the film. Problem here was that the visuals had an enormous narrative range. The track needed to work on an epic and cinematic scale only to change abruptly to comedy. We also decided to juxtaposition the futuristic visual treatment with a retro but future-proof, credible song. Music was the final magical element indeed.”
Music Agency: MassiveMusic
Creative Search: Philip Oomen
Producer: Guido Blom
Director: Mischa Rozema
Production Company: PostPanic
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