Viewers are taken back in time to 1888 to follow Bertha Benz on an extraordinary journey as she completed the first ever long distance journey, a 65 mile trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim in germany taking 12 hours. This was an incredible feat for the time and a testament to her determination and willful belief in this pioneering invention.
The Mill’s Creative Director Dan Williams explains ‘This was our first collaboration with Director Sebastian Strasser in London and we couldn’t have asked for a better project to kick off with. It’s an epic story told with his delicate filmic sensibility. The film celebrates a milestone for women and automobiles - the first ever long distance journey taken by a car.
The Mill’s brief was to keep the viewer firmly placed in the period setting of the piece. It was an exercise in Art Direction and atmospherics. This meant removing any traces of the modern world that remained on film. Telephone poles, wires and satellite dishes were removed. Modern glass aged, modern tiling and paints were altered and weathered appropriately.
The action actually took place in two separate locations so we worked on blending the two. We composited three dimensional matte paintings to the end of one street, re-locating the urban location to a rural one and a village to the aerial shot. We placed buildings into fields to make Bertha’s approach to town geographically correct, and put in the main street that you see in the doorway of the pub interiors. We also added fog, mist and sky replacements to the opening section to enhance the painterly mood of the piece.
It was a satisfying process working with Sebastian and Anorak and the film perfectly reflects the amount detailed attention and craft that was put into it by all involved. Happy Anniversary Bertha!’