CHARLOTTE, NC – Full-service production company Caravan (https://wearecaravan.tv) recently completed work on a 15-minute short that introduces Harley-Davidson’s eagerly-awaited CVO motorcycles. On June 7th, The Motor Company launched the all-new 2023 CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide with a film that lives online (https://h-d.com/ourfutureisreal).
Based on a detailed creative briefing by associate creative director Jon Cain, director Bernardo Marentes rapidly conceived a plan. Working with Caravan executive producer Jon Muedder and producers Michelle Wheeler and Mike Wine, the team began coordinating with crews in Milwaukee (Harley’s hometown), Santa Fe, and Northern and Southern California. Ultimately, Caravan spent 14 days shooting imagery across the different locations. The new CVOs were teased in a :50 trailer back in May.
“The speed at which this latest film with Harley came together represents what is possible when artists and brands prioritize trust and collaboration,” says Muedder. “We know this latest venture is just the beginning of what we’re hoping to accomplish together.”
Caravan’s post production supervisor Thomas Torrey managed multiple editors and collaborators, all working remotely to whittle down 40TBs of footage into the finished film. The team adopted a cloud-based workflow using the Productions framework in Adobe Premiere Pro, giving each editor access to every frame of footage.
“To build a film that felt cohesive, inspired and effectively communicated the story of CVO, I had to think several steps ahead and anticipate what type of footage or action might be helpful,” recalls the director. “The creative approach definitely shifted and adapted at each step. For example, as soon as we captured footage of the testing and development process, we knew we’d want running footage of the bikes that would tie-in with the motion and compositions captured in the design process. Seeing what lights and angles showed off the new body work informed our studio and running days.”
For principal photography, Marentes chose the Arri Alexa 35, paired with a set of Tribe7 Blackwing B-tuned prime lenses. Other cameras used for drone, hard-mounted bike shots, and in the camera car included Sony’s Venice 2, Arri’s Alexa Mini and Red’s Komodo. Caravan partnered with Override Films for the camera car and aerial elements, shooting in New Mexico and along the California coast. Aaron Brimhall captured the project’s photographic elements.
“As feedback came in from the H-D team, maintaining the unified vision demanded over-communication on my part,” Marentes adds. “From sharing camera settings, LUTs and composition guidelines, to communicating what type of movement we were looking for or the correct way to frame up additional interviews, the flow of information to additional directors, DPs and crews was constant.”
Additional credits included directors Austin Peck, Connor Carroll and Ben Carter; directors of photography John Carrington, Jack Shanahan, Jon Bregel, Mike Reyes and Alex Rivera; lead editor Tanner Howell; and editors Shea Sizemore and Blake Edwards. Nice Shoes’s Sal Malfitano handled the color grade and Bradford Nyght of The Bakery Studios provided sound design. Original music was provided by Cubby.
“The 2023 CVO Road Glide and Street Glide bikes represent a big leap forward for H-D and we’re honored to have played a small part in getting this story out into the world,” says Marentes. “Ultimately we feel like we did these awesome bikes justice.”