M Town Production Design

BEHIND THE SCENES OF M TOWN.

Production Designer Bader El Hindi creates BMW M Town.

BEHIND THE SCENES OF M TOWN.

Production Designer Bader El Hindi creates BMW M Town.

Behind the scenes of M Town.Production Designer Bader El Hindi creates BMW M Town.
In the end, creating a whole new world within that time was not really the goal. We wanted to maintain reality to preserve as much identification as possible.
Bader El Hindi, Production Designer for BMW M Town

M Town is everywhere, as fiction and reality come together to create a place of longing for all high-performance car enthusiasts. Bader El Hindi’s challenge was to create this place for the BMW M Town campaign. As production designer, he was responsible for the design of the set. In a personal interview, he describes what makes the concepts for films such as “One Night in BMW M Town”, “A Coffee in BMW M Town” and “Railroad Crossing in BMW M Town” so challenging, but so unique at the same time.

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BMW M Magazine: Who are you and what were you in charge of on the set of M Town?

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Bader El Hindi: I’m Bader and I was responsible for the visual, or production, design for the film, so to speak. That is the visual conception of it.

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From the Coffee to Drift house to the leather bag in the trailer, you designed it all. What’s your favourite thing in M Town?

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We have of course built a lot of things and brought them to life here – from small props to larger buildings. We asked ourselves if we wanted everything changed or if we wanted to remain grounded in reality and only change things in fragments. Time was of course very short. To be honest, the fact that we were creating a completely new world within this time was not the goal at all, as we wanted to retain a form of reality so it could be as identifiable as possible. It’s the little things that do it. We made brushes to clean the rims – of course there was a logo on it. We tried to play things down to the smallest detail to meet the demands of M Town.

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I can only say it was a great joy, a great challenge, a lot of fun.
Production Designer Bader El Hindi

Which M Town element was the most difficult to build and why?

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The most difficult job here for M Town was actually the stage for “One Night in BMW M Town”. Everyone knows that a peepshow consists of a round room with windows where you look out. The challenge was to allow different perspectives of the vehicle and to create a big peepshow that a complete car would fit into. Due to a lack of time, we could not do a test beforehand. In addition, we placed real mirrors where the individual cabins are to show it not only from the camera perspective, but also from the different mirrors that were around it.

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How did you come to build sets for movies?

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Originally, I learned how to be a make-up artist and was active in the theatre. There, I started to watch the stage with one eye. I then toyed with it so much that I eventually switched to the stage. And from there, after many years, I was confronted with the medium of film. Film is more rock n’ roll (than theatre – editor’s note) and it is always a completely new challenge – that’s how I came to it.

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I always call that a visual dramaturgy. The cameraman does the cinematic dramaturgy, we make the visual dramaturgy – the physical, the tangible.

What does it take to become a Production Designer?

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I don’t think there’s one way. There are a lot of aspects involved and everyone has their own individual requirements. It starts with a script. You read that, and then pictures start to build in your head. The approach is always different, but it is important that you have images in your head from the script. You need imagination in order to master the tools of fiction. The nicest thing is to create and assert things in a particular context. Then it’s really fun. We ultimately serve the story and the performer, so that the role played – the content – is properly served. That’s what matters. Drafting with direction, with a camera, with the production – that’s what it’s all about.

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There are many experiences, and I think the number of these experiences makes me hungry for more.

The movie sets are mostly abroad. Do you always work with the same team? How does this work?

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For the past few years, I’ve been trying to get the same team. This is of course more efficient. You know each other, and you know what you want. You know what you can deliver, and you know what is possible. That’s why it’s so important to select your team in advance. In cities where you work frequently and often shoot, you now have your team, your people – and these people are also your friends.

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Which of your projects is your favourite so far and why?

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I am working in this business since 27 or 28 years. It’s really hard to say which was the best set. I can’t commit to one, because every project is special. It’s a different challenge every time and a new experience every time. In the end, it’s always best to experience things.

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You have to let things go, you have to trust in them, and I think in the end you have to deal with things as they come. That’s also the most exciting thing about our job, that we have to solve things locally.

Which part of M Town was it that appealed to you most?

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It’s a great project, of course, because it’s not too conventional. Here, we are allowed to span the arc. Things are too high here. You can drift, you can show smoke. You don’t have so many rules – it’s much freer. The focus is on the vehicles and the work simply takes place in other dimensions.

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What do you enjoy most about your job?

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This job is so fun because I want to do it. It’s what I can really pursue from my belly, from the heart. Because its always a new challenge, the fire burns enormously.

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Bader, thank you for the interview!

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M Town Production Design

ONE NIGHT IN M TOWN.

ONE NIGHT IN M TOWN.

BMW M2 Competition:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 10.0 - 9.8 (9.2 - 9.0)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 227 - 224 (209 - 206) 

BMW M5 Competition:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 10.8 - 10.7
CO2-emissions in g/km (combined): 246 - 243 

BMW M850i xDrive Coupé:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 – 9.7
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224 – 221

The figures in brackets refer to the vehicle with seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. 

The illustrations show optional equipment. 

The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown are determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval.The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model.The values are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. For vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here. The models illustrated include optional equipment. 

Further information about the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger automobiles can be found in the 'New Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emission Guidelines', which are available free of charge at all sales outlets, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern, Germany, or under http://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html. 

The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for the purposes of comparison between different vehicle types. CO2 emissions caused by the production and provision of fuel or other energy sources are not taken into account in the determination of CO2 emissions pursuant to Directive 1999/94/EC.

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