Coinciding with the reopening in mid-May 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Museum presents a new drone video. Alongside downright magical installations, the highly dynamic clip casts a spell of enchantment on the viewer with flight sequences that top anything seen to date. The videos were created with the help of mini-drones, weighing less than 100 grams and carrying high-resolution 4K cameras with them. The drones, just the size of the palm of one’s hand, can hover through small openings whilst filming – including through open doors and into the interiors of classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Spectacular flight with changing perspectives
What awaits viewers? The camera flies through the open gullwing doors of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”, for example. Or the drone visits the passenger compartment of the colourfully painted Mercedes-Benz LO 1112 bus from Argentina and darts across the rows of seats. The change of camera perspectives is also impressive. From a bird’s-eye view, the flight takes you through every level of the museum: from the roof terrace you go into the building through every Legend and Collection room right up to “Fascination of Technology” and finally back outside via the doors of the entrance. There a complete shot of the museum brings the clip to a close. In between there are many fascinating shots from a worm’s-eye view, which leave new and exciting details to be discovered every time you view it.
Script, trust, training and great concentration
The Mercedes-Benz Museum team and the filmmakers Daniel Wagner and André Jung from minidrone.studio did the filming during the time the museum was closed due to the coronavirus. Right from the start it was clear that, in addition to the inside and outside shots, there should also be impressive flights directly through the vehicles themselves. A bold concept given that the assets exhibited at the Mercedes-Benz Museum are worth millions. But, at the same time, it was an opportunity to present the museum from viewpoints that have never been seen before. “Here at the Mercedes-Benz Museum we are always trying to implement new things and take unconventional paths on our social media channels. This draws a lot of attention and the success speaks for itself,” says Michael Abele, Social Media Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The green light for filming was given under the proviso that the vehicles would be protected from being damaged at all times. That’s why the filmmakers practised the particularly tricky shots intensively in advance with real obstacles and also made use of digital simulations. “The way the Museum team trusted us and gave us free reign over the actual implementation of the video was great,” says André Jung, looking back.
After three days of filming and slick editing the result was a dynamic, exciting flight through the museum. The work involved in making this video wasn’t quite as light and playful as the final result appears, say the filmmakers. Did they fly especially slowly in tight spots in order to be able to navigate precisely and then speed up the video in the edit? No, laughs Daniel Wagner, it was precisely the opposite: only a rapid flight ensured nice, flowing tracking shots. This required a lot of experience and practice. In the finished video the speed of the recording was in many places digitally slowed down somewhat in order to achieve an optimum speed for the viewer. For example, for the steep turn in the Legend 7 room with the racing and record vehicles of Mercedes-Benz.
“In total, we used four different types of drone for filming at the Mercedes-Benz Museum,” says Daniel Wagner. “Such drones are not available to buy ready-made; we adapted them precisely to suit our needs, using various components.” The light drones around the size of the palm of one’s hand were used in order to fly through even the smallest of openings. The outside shots were used with a heavier aerial vehicle that could withstand the wind. The latter can also be operated from a distance by a pilot, who steers the drone by remote control and uses video eyewear for orientation. This was how the long shots without cuts were created – another reason the clip is so outstanding.
“We look forward to inspiring people to visit us with this new video, either in person or from their sofa at home,” says Monja Büdke, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum has been open again since 9 May 2020, initially from Friday to Sunday.