Durable Goods Director Sam Ciaramitaro recently teamed up with Detroit-based agency Commonwealth to produce “Corvette Academy,” a digital campaign introducing the all-new 2023 Corvette Z06. The four-part series celebrates Corvette’s 70-year legacy, with an in-depth look at the ultimate supercar and its new place on the world stage.
From full-throttle shots of the Z06 on the race track to cinematic macro-shots of its stunning design and craftsmanship to engaging anecdotes from the passionate team of Corvette engineers and designers, the films capture the glory of the most legendary Z06 yet.
“The new mid-engine Z06 is the closest thing to a street-legal, high-performance race car that Corvette has ever produced,” remarks Ciaramitaro. “To get this kind of horsepower from a naturally aspirated engine, when so many others are going turbo, supercharge, or electric is astounding. I’m a kid from Detroit, so the chance to shoot these films for Corvette was a dream come true.”
The series trailer, “The Buzz is Intense,” introduces the Z06 as “the best Corvette ever made, hands down” – and a source of pride not just for Chevrolet, but for America.
"Purpose and Promise" puts the world on notice, as the passionate engineers and designers who developed the Z06 explain how this ultimate supercar amplifies the Corvette legacy.
“The Beauty Within the Beast” puts you in the cockpit of the Z06, highlighting the design innovation that went into the supercar’s interior, with 11,000 customization options to make it truly yours.
“Conquer the Air” celebrates the Z06’s aerodynamics and track performance breakthroughs achieved by Corvette’s design team.
“Zora’s Legacy” (below) is a retrospective spanning generations of Corvette development, beginning with Zora Arkus-Duntov, the father of the Corvette, whose dream of bringing to life a mid-engine Z06 has finally come to life.
Haute couture was a visual theme Ciaramitaro embraced in highlighting design details of the Z06, which he lensed as beautiful pieces of art while tying in the story of the Corvette brand.
“Fashion deals with pushing the boundaries, possibilities, dreams, imaginations, and a lot of hard, gritty work that no one ever sees,” says Ciaramitaro. “It was the perfect framework to tell the Z06 story because these are the pillars Chevy Corvette is all about.”
In filming components of the Corvette, Ciaramitaro spent time studying the car to figure out the best angles and camera movements to make otherwise mundane shots – such as tires, for example – feel interesting and dynamic.
To capture the Z06 in action, Ciaramitaro choreographed street and race track shots to maximize the visceral feeling of power, speed, and performance with dynamic camerawork. His crew shot at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, deploying Russian arms for wider shots, and GoPros for hard-to-reach elements, such as suspension. Ciaramitaro used telephoto lenses to maximize intensity, along with Zolly shots for cinematic effect. Due to safety concerns, the cars had governors on them to temper their speed, so the challenge for Ciaramitaro was to film the cars in a way that made them look heroic while conveying their power and speed.
For the interviews, Ciaramitaro looked to match the cinematic quality and energy of the car shots using handheld cameras. He used two cameras to create visual interest and variety for the edit. One camera was dedicated to focused shots of the interview subjects while the other camera was used to capture unexpected moments, which they merged together with playful and punchy cuts. The interviews were staged in race car garage environments with Corvettes parked behind them.
“With a car this gorgeous, the story behind it must match its excellence,” concludes Ciaramitaro. “I wanted every detail in these films to feel highly cinematic and be as beautiful and luxurious as the vehicle itself, and honor the incredible team of people who are passionately carrying on the Corvette legacy.”
Project Title: Corvette Academy
Ad Agency: Commonwealth // McCann
Chief Creative Officer: Gary Pascoe
Creative Director: Dan Marvin & Dave Muller
Associate Creative Director: Bryan Durco & Jerry Burton
Director Broadcast & Art Production: Paul Renusch
Executive Producer: Kelly Balagna
Producer: Karen Crissman
Group Account Director: Kalyn Barnum
Account Director: Greg Young
Account Executive: Liz Socha
Senior Project Manager: Ken Ashburn
Senior Product Insights & Analysis Specialist, Corvette: Amy Oaks
Business Manager: Julie Preston
Associate Director, Global Legal Compliance: Jeanette Foy
Sr. Talent Manager: Jennifer Hopkins
Production Company: Durable Goods
Director: Sam Ciaramitaro
Executive Producer: Hani Selim
Line Producer: Martell Rose
DP: Magdalena Gorka / United Talent Agency
Editorial Company: Union Editorial