This Shapeshifting Electric Car Rig Will Change the Way Car Ads are Shot


Watching a car commercial will never be the same once you get a peek at the Blackbird. A shapeshifting, adjustable electric car ‘rig,’ it can become any car—past, present, or future—with some help from CGI.

Created by award-winning studio The Mill in collaboration with JemFX, Performance Filmworks, and Keslow, the Blackbird is something truly special. When you see it in real life, it looks like this:


But it can “become” any car you need it to be, even if that car hasn’t been made yet.

Essentially, the Blackbird is an electric car that is built from the ground up to be “re-skinned” in post and become whatever car the commercial needs it to be. Pre-mapped tracking points, 360° HDR mapping capability, and brilliant engineering come together to let you shoot an entire car commercial without the actual car…

Since not all adjustments can be made properly in post, the Blackbird is built to change shape. At the push of a button, it can lengthen by up to 4 feet and widen by up to 10 inches; and since different cars have different wheels, those can be swapped out too, as can the suspension system. Finally, you can also program the Blackbird to drive like just about any car you want.

Without getting too grandiose about our language, the Blackbird really does seem like the future of car advertising, now. Watch it in action below:

If you’re a car person you probably feel a bit cheated watching that, but the advantages for the people shooting these commercials are obvious. “The biggest challenges facing automotive advertising are car availability, and subsequent model revisions,” explains The Mill in the video above. The Blackbird does away with both of those issues and makes the whole process far more cost-effective in the process.

To learn more about this fascinating creation or the company behind it, head over to The Mill’s website by clicking here.