Behind the Scenes: Shooting the New “Demolition Derby” Commercial for Mercedes-Benz USA

Hi Friends,

In October of this year, my good friend and fellow shooter, Royce Rumsey, and I had the opportunity to provide “making-of” still photography for Mercedes-Benz USA for their production of a brand new TV commercial for the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The spot highlights the M-Class collision-avoidance safety features by dropping a brand new shiny Mercedes ML350 into a herd of fire-breathing demolition derby hulks.  Beauty and the beast, anyone?

The piece was filmed on location at the [former] Kaiser Steel Plant in Fontana, CA–a site perhaps best known as the location of the final showdown between Schwartzenegger and the T-1000 in James Cameron’s “Terminator II: Judgement Day.” The producers created a demolition derby arena in an old, dilapidated section of the factory – complete with food vending carts, cheesy neon signage, and “redneck” fans.

I’ve worked in video production for many years, but this was my first time on the set of a production of this scale, and it was AWESOME!  Amazing how many people were involved in making it happen.  And everyone was so friendly! Made us feel right at home.

You can view the finished commercial above.  And now that it’s out, and Mercedes Benz USA has posted the still images from the shoot, I thought I’d share it here as well.

Some of my favorite behind-the-scenes images follow. So light the fires and squeal the tires!  Scroll on down, and enjoy!

For other automotive photography, click the following link to check out my Automotive Gallery. If you like what you see, and you’re interested in having YOUR car(s) photographed, please don’t hesitate to contact me.






MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Action-JCHP-2-33_12 MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Action-JCHP-0205_31

MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-Hero-Images-JCHP-1244_26  MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Setup-JCHP-0078_06 MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Action-JCHP-0146_29 MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Setup-JCHP-0062_04 MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Setup-JCHP-0278_11


MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Setup-JCHP-1083_30 MB-Commercial-Cal_Steel-BTS-Setup-JCHP-1195_35







Share and Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Shooting the New “Demolition Derby” Commercial for Mercedes-Benz USA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *