How we Launched Cervélo's Fastest Aero-road Bike


How do you launch the fastest aero-road bike in the world?

To accompany the recent release of Cervélo’s new S5 and the news of their partnership with Team Sunweb, we made a different kind of road bike launch film…


With Sunweb’s riders contractually unable to ride Cervelo’s bikes until 2019, we had the challenge of developing a creative approach that would appeal, connect and entertain the audience without having the riders actually getting on the bikes. After some great brainstorming in the studio we came up with a parody of some classic heist scenes. Three of the top Sunweb riders would break into Cervelo’s high-tech performance lab in the hope of getting their hands on the bike.

Following writing the story, we came up with a storyboard to visualise the shots one-by-one. While not every shoot requires that we prepare in this way - it really helps us make the most of our time on set when we do. Here are a few comparisons:


For the main shoot, we teamed our Sony FS7 with a set of Arri Ultraprimes and an Optimo 45-120mm from 24-7 Scotland. We had two nights at a location we found near Edinburgh that suited being a ‘high-tech lab’. Our cast consisted of three stand-in actors (in place of Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin, Leah Kirchmann and Michael Matthews), two lab workers, a security guard and a receptionist.

Following this shoot, we flew out to Austria to catch the team at the Innsbruck World Championships where we briefly borrowed Tom, Leah and Michael to shoot our fun ‘Hot Fuzz’ style outro. We also visited Team Sunweb’s HQ in the Netherlands to catch the mechanics setting up the 2019 bikes. After grabbing one quick shot of the S5 in team colours - we flew back, added it to the edit and handed the final film over in the same day.


The edit suite was where this production came to life. Our editor worked his magic in colour grade and compositing visual/graphic effects. Slide between some before and after shots below:


This launch film doesn’t have any riding; doesn’t have anyone speaking about the bike; and doesn’t even show much of the bike. It’s a completely different approach for the world of road cycling but it adds personality to Cervélo and catches the audience.

That being said, people still want to see the bike in action and hear about what this new bike brings. To accompany the release film, we joined Cervélo's engineering and development managers in Girona for their press release camp at Roca Corba Cycling. Here, they explained the changes in depth and we were able to shoot the bike speeding through Girona’s lush roads. This really brought to life what the bike was made of and had us completely sold. We then edited the footage into a series of four films about the S5’s performance.


We love working with top athletes and products that match their ability. The Cervélo S5 campaign contained nothing short of that and we look forward to Cervélo raising the bar with whatever they come up with next.

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