The film is set in the dead of night and starts by showing what looks like a huge monolith glowing in the distance. As it moves forward through the mysterious landscape, we see wolves in the foreground and catch a glimpse of a female driver. The intensity continues with the powerful track ”Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis and we start to see the shape of four trucks bizarrely stacked on top of each other. As the film reaches its climax, complete with smoke and lighting effects, we see that the man standing on top of the tower is actually Volvo Trucks’ president Roger Alm. In the end, we learn that Volvo built the tower to demonstrate the strength of its four new trucks, and that it was possible thanks to the new bogie feature that can carry up to 38 tonnes.
Cultural / Context information for the jury
In the trucking industry, launching one truck is a huge project. But releasing four at the same time is almost unheard of. That’s why we had to create something that could live up to the big launch.
And when it comes to truck driving as a profession, there is a serious shortage of drivers. In the UK, only 19% of current HGV drivers are below 35 while in Germany 40% of drivers say they will retire in the next 10 to 15 years. 93% of haulers said the environment and comfort of the driver was a factor in attracting or keeping drivers in the profession. Additionally, 78% said that the performance of the truck was key. We wanted to turn this trend around by changing the perception of truck launches, and thereby the trucking profession itself.
Tell the jury about the production design / art direction. You may wish to comment on choices, challenges or effects.
”The Tower” was directed by Andreas Nilsson and shot by Emmy Award winning cinematographer Jakob Ihre. The goal of the cinematography was to not hold back and to fully embrace the ridiculousness of the idea. That’s why we created a world that felt like a dark Wagner opera mixed with a John Carpenter or David Lynch movie. Its colors were made to feel like a psychedelic dream; a dark yet poetic journey into the unknown.
To keep the abstraction in the beginning, is, it was important to use darkness and smoke to disguise the trucks and create suspense. And it wasn’t visual trickery. We spent over a month designing and carefully constructing the tower, so it was safe to drive. And the majority of the visual affects are real, including the smoke and lights. Fully assembled, the tower of trucks stood 50 feet and weighed a combined 58 tons.