Sport has long been known as a source of dramatic content and as a prime mover in creating demand for the latest and the best in TV technology.
TP Vision – with the Philips TV brand – has taken this relationship back to the heart of the sports community by creating unique adventure sports content that presents the selected extreme sports in a new and uniquely enhanced form.
The company recently released the third installment in its multi-award winning ‘Beyond the Ordinary’ campaign with mountain biking as the theme of latest film ‘Darklight’ joining the earlier surfing inspired ‘Lightwaves’ and skiing themed Afterglow.
But why select extreme adventure sports? ‘We wanted to try a new approach both in terms of the content we selected and how we reached our target audience’ says Marc Harmsen, Global Marketing Lead at TP Vision.
‘Adventure sports both provided the exciting visuals we wanted but also the chance to communicate directly with a younger, more engaged, enthusiastic audience and on their terms’.
Ambilight presents a halo of continually changing light and colours – which precisely match the on-screen action – on the wall behind the set to provide an extended, enhanced and more immersive viewing experience.
The release of Darklight has also been timed to coincide with the ultimate incarnation of Ambilight via the soon to be launched revolutionary Ambilux product using nine pico projectors within the rear of the set to extend the actual image beyond the screen.
Perhaps the most remarkable element common to all three films – Lightwaves, Afterglow and Darklight – is the fact they were physically created and shot on camera to capture the light and colors rather than by PC using CGI, placing serious logistical demands on partner and specialist film company Sweetgrass Productions.
And in the spirit of the previous films Sweetgrass chose to push the technical boundaries both physically in the choice of location and by shooting the film in 6K using the latest Red Dragon cameras, before down-sampling to create exceptional 4K quality content.
‘We wanted create an off trail riding experience on a massive scale so that it would match much of the style of big mountain skiing and would link to the previous hugely popular Afterglow film’ says Sweetgrass producer Mike Brown.
Darklight continues the theme of the previous films by featuring three of the world’s top mountain bike ‘pros’ tackling extreme sports pursuits at night-time. In this case using routes through desert and forest settings featuring wide area LED lit landscapes to produce extraordinary results.
‘In the end we used two very different locations says Mike Brown; the barren desert mountains of Utah and in the lush forest tracks of Oregon and each created its own logical issues.’
The shoot took 38 days in total including scouting for the two locations, actual film work and onsite preparation. Over six tons of equipment was required in two relatively inaccessible locations often requiring the 30 member team to physically ‘hike’ the equipment into place – including a large screen Ambilight TV so the entire crew could review the day’s work.
Sweetgrass were also determined to push cinematography to new levels and either called on, adapted or created the equipment to do it.
Fast moving scenes were captured on the 6K cameras by using a three-axis, free-fly Movi gimble. The camera and gimble were then mounted in specially adapted drones for film action in the more inaccessible Utah shots with the drones replaced by a fly-line cable cam in the Oregon forest.
Partner companies such as Specialized and TomTom provided specially modified equipment like a TomTom Bandit Action cam and modified mountain bikes but circumstances arising during the filming also required the team to hand build and modify equipment on site – including creating the special LED bicycle wheels.
The film work also placed extreme demands on the riders who often had to wait hours, through the night, for the intricate film ‘sets’ to be formed before being called on to make 50ft gap jumps at 4am!
The end results have certainly more than justified the efforts taken. The riders – Graham Agassiz, Matt Hunter and Matty Miles – and bikes leave ever-changing LED trails as they seem to defy gravity while hurtling down vertical-mountain faces bathed in coloured light. Forest floors resemble alien landscapes as LED power allows plants to literally glow in the dark
‘I learned a lot from this film’ says Matty Miles ‘The lighting definitely enhanced some of the features and surrounding landscapes more then we could have imagined, it was just so rad hanging out on set with all the crazy lights everywhere’
‘The mountain bike community will be excited to see something so different. I think the colours and the landscape is amazing on its own, for most people it will be shocking visuals and they’re imagination will take them further.’
‘I had no idea what potential all those lights possessed, it was really cool! adds Graham Agassiz, It enhanced the visual appeal for sure, there was so much going on in each shot. I think the mountain bike community is going to be stoked, there was some insane riding going on and everything was captured at an A grade level!’
‘The beauty of the films’ says Mike Brown ‘ is the way that viewers initially are forced to suspend their belief of what’s actually possible but as they watch they become aware that it is for real and that it is the power of light that is taking what they know and putting it into a totally different dimension’.
‘The reaction to the ‘Beyond the Ordinary’ campaign has been truly exceptional ’ adds Marc Harmsen, ‘by using adventure sports we have been able to reach a new audience which has led to films like Afterglow enjoying huge viral success far beyond what we could normally expect to reach’
‘Darklight adds a third adventure sport to the campaign and gives us the opportunity to extend the reach of Beyond the Ordinary to another specialist, enthusiast audience while providing amazing, totally immersive 4K content that will appeal to all viewers of Philips Ambilight TVs’.
‘The movies will also provide perfect 4K content for the in-store demonstration of Philips TVs allowing people to experience the unique combination of Ambilight technology and exceptional picture quality at its most immersive’.
In addition to Philips social media activity, the movies will continue to feature on the Philips TV channels on You Tube and Vimeo and also on the web sites and social channels of selected media partners throughout Europe, Russia, the Middle East and South America.
About TP Vision
TP Vision is a dedicated TV player in the world of visual digital entertainment. TP Vision concentrates on developing, manufacturing and marketing Philips branded TV sets in Europe, Russia, Middle East, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and selected countries in Asia-Pacific. We do this by combining our design expertise and innovative Philips TV heritage with the operational excellence, flexibility and speed of TPV Technology. With these combined strengths, we bring high-quality TV sets to the market: smart and easy to use with sophisticated styling. We believe in creating products that offer a superior TV experience for consumers. With Philips TVs, TP Vision is a global leader in the hospitality market. TP Vision is the exclusive brand licensee of Philips TVs for the above listed countries. The TV Company is 100% owned by TPV, the world’s leading monitor and LCD TV manufacturer, selling and marketing Philips branded TVs in China. The TPV Group has been able to drive its growth over the years by leveraging its economies of scale and core competencies in R&D, manufacturing, logistic efficiency and quality. TP Vision employs close to 2,000 people in several locations around the globe.