Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Hire were a series of short films produced by various hollywood directors over a 2 year period for BMW. These highly popular shorts always featured Clive Owen as the driver with cameos from Gary Oldman to Madonna. The films were used as part of their TV ad campaigns back in 2001 and 2002 and you had to go to a BMW dealership or their website to view them or pickup a DVD. Executive produced by Tony Scott the Hire series were high stylized shorts with A-List cast and crew. These films laid the ground work for Tony Scott's surreal/experimental action films Man on Fire and Domino.
Despite all this success, in October 21, 2005, BMW stopped distribution of The Hire on DVD and removed all eight films from the BMWFilms website just four years after the first film debuted. The series was abandoned, because the project had become too expensive to afford. In the end, the series had been viewed over 100 million times in four years and had changed the way products were advertised. The films continue to grow in popularity on youtube and other viral sites and remain an interesting study of advertising and film.