» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

February 9, 2007
BMW has put together an impressive concept and accompanying website for their newest promotional endeavor, which is of course aimed at selling their cars. "The Hire"," a new film series commissioned by the automaker and dedicated to the overlooked medium of short films, combines prime product placement for its financiers with aggressive, stylish short film direction by some of the most acclaimed and energizing directors in modern cinema. The concept is a collaboration between BMW's marketing team and two film directors from opposite ends of the success ladder - Ben Young and David Fincher.

Young, the twenty-something director of Boiler Room, was prepped for the gritty style of "The Hire" series by his maturation in New York City, where he attended NYU's film school and apparently lucked into his writing and directing role for Boiler Room, his first feature film. In "The Hire" series Young is the primary writer for each of the films, which may not be as enviable as one might imagine. Writing numerous background stories for a host of very different directors, each accomplished in his own right, while maintaining a consistent focus -putting BMW's products in the limelight - has the potential of being a precarious task.

Executive Producer duties are handled by the legendary David Fincher, who has one of the hottest resumes in cinema. In addition to being one of the most respected and creative directors in Hollywood, Fincher has proved to be a virtual box office gold mine, with his four films bringing in over $733 million worldwide. The lowest grossing Fincher-directed film to date is 1999's breakout Fight Club, at $108 million.

While it is Young who pens the bulk of the scripts, it is Fincher who truly controls "The Hire" series and who must ultimately be credited for its success. In addition to overseeing the conceptualization and assisting in the writing of each installment, Fincher is also the man who selects the directors on each film, a daunting task which Fincher has attacked with impeccable taste and an admirable regard for creative vision.

A total of eight films are planned for the series. The first two shorts, directed by John Frankenheimer and Ang Lee, began showing on the BMWfilms.com website in early 2001, and the third, directed by Wong Kar Wai, made its debut last May at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. BMW will wrap up "The Hire" this year with the remaining three films, and once the series is complete there are plans for packaging all eight together in a special DVD set. Although the point of the films is clear, thus far each one is a thrill ride for BMW and cinema enthusiasts alike.

To get an idea of what such a package might entail, click over to the BMWfilms.com website where, along with the films themselves, you'll find a host of DVD style features such as filmographies, on-location photos, commentary, sub stories, trailers, "featured machine" info for the BMW vehicle used in each short, and extras such as the indespensible wallpaper. An additional flourish and feather in "The Hire" series' cap is BMWfilms.com's custom media player, designed by Fallon Minneapolis, that is downloadable from the site. While the films can play on a variety of platforms at a variety of connection speeds, the sleek, modern layout and functionality of the BMW Film Player is a nice touch, and the films of "The Hire" series have earned the extra effort.

Ambush - directed by John Frankenheimer (Ronin, The French Connection II)
Chosen - directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Ice Storm)
The Follow - directed by Wong Kar-Wai (Happy Together, Chungking Express)
Star - directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch)
Powder Keg - directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros)
Hostage - directed by John Woo (Face/Off, Mission: Impossible II)
Ticker - directed by Joe Carnahan (Narc)
Beat The Devil - directed by Tony Scott (Clay Pigeons)

SEE ALSO: www.bmwfilms.com

Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.



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