BMW scored a viral video hit in the early 2000s with its The Hire series of short films that put A+ talent in clips staring the brand's machines. Now, there's a fantastic opportunity to watch them again because all of the episodes are on YouTube in 4K resolution on the channel Second Wind.
All of The Hire short films star Clive Owen as a character who simply goes by "The Driver." As the name of the series suggests, each episode has a person employing the wheelman to do something, and the event always happens behind the wheel of a BMW vehicle.
BMW kicked off the series in 2001 with Ambush by John Frankenheimer. It proved to be one of his final directorial works before the director's passing in 2002. Season one also included entries from Oscar winners Ang Lee and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
However, the most exciting entry in the first series came from director Guy Ritchie. He cast Madonna, who was his wife at the time, as a demanding celebrity. As the behest of her manager, The Driver gives the woman a wild ride while pretending to avoid paparazzi. All of this happens while Blur's "Song 2" plays.
While the initial series of shorts switches BMW models for each entry, the BMW Z4, which was newly introduced at the time, starred in all of the second season's episodes. There were just three entries this time, but there was still top-tier directing talent like John Woo, Joe Carnahan, and Tony Scott.
The series returned in 2016 for a single-video third season. Neill Blomkamp directed this entry.
After The Hire series being dormant for so long, now might be a good time to revive the idea because BMW has plenty of new products on the way. The new M4 seems like an obvious model to highlight. Or, putting the iNext electric crossover in a star-studded short film could be a way to build interest in the vehicle.
Sources: SecondWind via YouTube, Second WInd via YouTube