In Theatres October 8th - Exclusive Premiere Event - Available digitally on Vimeo October 9th
WHAT WAS THE GENESIS OF THIS FILM? HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED? In 2011, Alessandro Uzielli, the head of Ford Motor Company's Global Brand Entertainment, approached the marketing leadership team at Ford with a unique idea: a feature-length documentary on the history of Mustang to coincide with the iconic car's 50th anniversary in 2014. Uzielli pitched the film concept as a creative endeavor that would follow the development, production, and distribution path of a traditionally made feature documentary, giving us, the filmmakers, complete autonomy in their efforts. Uzielli knew who he wanted to helm the project: friend and producer Nigel Sinclair of White Horse Pictures. Sinclair and Uzielli's friendship began in the early 1990's when Sinclair served as Uzielli's entertainment attorney after launching his career in production. Sinclair's interest in the project was immediate and Uzielli spent the next two years working the project concept through Ford's global marketing organization. Mustang was poised to become a globally-sold vehicle with one of the largest unveilings in the 112-year history of the company. In 2012, Sinclair brought me into the project; and in late 2013, Ford generously gave us full creative control, opened its doors to the filmmakers, providing never-before-seen access to the 2015 Mustang redesign.
WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO MAKE IT? This film is influenced by my own personal experience with the Mustang. I’m by no means a gear head, and because I grew up in New York, I didn’t even have a driver’s license until I was 18. However, whenever my dad would take me on a trip to California he would always rent a Mustang GT, and he was so proud of it, even though it was a rental. Feeling “cool” with my dad in that car really stuck with me. I was struck by how I, someone who didn’t really know that much about cars as a kid, could still have an emotional connection with one. And I’m certainly not alone in this. Everybody that I’ve talked to about this film has some kind of Mustang story. I’m fascinated by the relationship between a person and his/her car, and how the car can become a reflection of him/herself.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAD MAKING THIS FILM? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
The biggest challenge of this film was finding an entry point for the audience. The Mustang is a global phenomenon. There are Mustang clubs all over the world with tens of thousands of members. How do you tell this massive story with so many potential characters and still make it feel personal and emotional? The solution, we discovered, was to find the single person who has to carry the weight of this legacy on his shoulders. Our protagonist Dave Pericak is the Chief Engineer of Mustang, and is essentially the director of the car. He has loved Mustang since he was a kid, and now has to live up to not only the legend of the original car and the high expectations of a legion of dedicated fans, but also to his own incredibly high standards. It’s a story about teamwork, leadership, and trying to stay true to your vision when everyone else is trying to tell you what to do. It’s not unlike filmmaking.
WHAT SURPRISED YOU WHILE MAKING THE FILM? WHAT DO YOU HOPE AUDIENCES WILL TAKE AWAY FROM THE FILM? I was startled by how much work goes into making a car. This car has more than 2,000 individual parts that need to be designed, tested, and produced on a massive scale. Over a billion dollars are on the line and thousands of jobs. And finally, the lives of every person that gets into one of these cars in in the engineers hands. The stakes are a lot higher than I had initially thought. I hope that audiences will walk away from the film having a much better understanding and appreciation for just how much work goes into the creation of a legendary car like the Mustang.