April 14, 2003

cog

Honda have recently released a new ad for their latest Accord that is like no other.

It's a whopping two minutes long, and consists of a single camera following a mechanical domino-type set of gears, wheels, cables, valves, flywheels and other car parts. A cog rolls into another cog, which drops off a table, making a lever release a spring which hits something else, causing it to fall over, making a wheel roll across the floor. This continues, with some quite amazing and precise mechanics right up to the car rolling off a seesaw.

It took an astonishing 606 takes to get this to work, as being so delicate, even a misalignment of a couple of millimetres stopped the whole orchestration. The guys working on the film had to tip-toe around the set during the setup for each take in case something got knocked off alignment. But after four solid days of filming it finally paid off.

As you can probably tell, I'm absolutely amazed at this, and find it fascinating to watch. The tings, whirrs, plops, and scrapes highlight the delicacy of such a setup. The knowledge that this was made without any computers just compounds the feeling.

The video exists online and is really worth the download.

Posted by Ben at April 14, 2003 10:27 PM
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