There are few things more exciting than a car in the middle of a storm chase, with clouds overhead and adrenaline pumping.
It certainly made for an ideal setting in an Acura MDX spec commercial created by professional storm chaser Martin Lisius. While it might not be an official advert for the car company, the footage is likely to impress all the same.
“I chose an Acura MDX for one purpose: to take me to great storms,” reads the quote for Lisius in the commercial’s opening.
In both the 30-second version and the director’s cut, tornadoes and lightning can be seen as Lisius drives in his SUV with some storm chasing tunes playing in the background. All images aside from aerial shots were taken with a Red Komodo, a 6K cinema camera. The aerials were shot using the DJI Inspire 2 X7 25mm f/2.8 package.
As Lisius pointed out, the Komodo is compact and light but handles motion with ease. The entire production was easy and quick to maneuver as the two-person team stayed ahead of the storms. Yes, Lisius, who served as director of photography, and associate producer Kim George were in front of the storms, which Lisius emphasized he would not recommend for any production. Lisius is a veteran storm chaser with years of experience.
In addition to the DJI and Komodo, Lisius used “just two lightweight lenses (Canon RF 24-70 f/2.8 and Irix Cine 15mm T2.6), light tripods with shot bags to hold them down in the wind, and quick-change magnetic Irix filters (ND and polarizer). Even the crew was small and quick.”
But the piece of equipment that got the most use? The Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. Lisius said he and George were constantly cleaning dust off the camera, lenses, and filters.
The MDX commercial was shot largely in Texas in the middle of a heatwave, so on top of all that dust, tornados, unrelenting sun, and storm chasing, the crew was in 108-degree heat. The commercial seems like a true feat to pull off.
“I was inspired to make the commercial after my Acura MDX successfully (and safely) allowed me to track several tornadoes (from behind) down a 30-mile long dirt road full of gullies, canyons and steep hills. I knew it had that potential but, gosh, that was impressive. That’s what I said when I finally reached a paved road,” Lisius told PetaPixelover email.
Lisius’ work is also licensed in commercials, films, documentaries, and other works.
And, again, as the text briefly seen at the bottom of the ad reads, do not attempt to make this kind of video on your own.
Image Credits: Martin Lisius