After months of planning, tracking down an award-winning director and many laborious weeks of preparation, the COBI film was finally coming together in 24 hours of filming. The call time was set for the early morning, long before the sun touched down on Berlin’s streets.
COBI isn’t your typical bike brand. In fact, it’s more of a technology brand developed to improve your daily lifestyle and remove barriers so that traveling by bike can be more accessible to all. COBI frees you from sitting in traffic, gives you the option to stay connected or to unplug, keeps your phone charged and lights the way, all while conveniently allowing you to keep your hands on the handlebars. Powered by your smartphone, it’s the first of its kind and a revolutionary step forward for both the conventional bicycle and for e-bikes.
This next COBI film had to convey the lifestyle and experience that stems from this groundbreaking new product. Director Jo Marie Farwick was up for the task. Farwick has been racking up awards with ADC Germany/Europe/NYC, LIAA, Red Dot, Cannes, Clio Interactive and more. She was approached by COBI CMO and US CEO Andreas Freitag, and they began working on the script, setting the tone and working on logistics.
From the beginning, casting for this film wasn’t particularly straightforward. Yes, there were a handful of actors, but COBI also took a few unconventional routes. Brian Lubega, a financial controller and newest member of the COBI team, found out that investor reporting and balancing budgets weren’t the only things in his job description. Lubega explains, “It was my first week of work and when I met Steven Overheul from the marketing team. He asked me ‘What are you up to at the end of the month? I think I have something you’d be great in.’’’ A few weeks later, Lubega was in Berlin making his film debut as one of the leads in the film.
To fill in a few more spots in the film, COBI got creative and used their social media channels to send out a worldwide casting call. They wanted to use this filming opportunity to connect with people whose daily lives would be positively impacted by COBI. The entries poured in, full of passion, and two winners were chosen. Carlos Alarcón, from Colombia and Olivier Marie from France joined the cast for a whirlwind weekend and a chance to be a part of the COBI movement. “I saw that COBI could really improve my riding experience and that motivated me to be part of the film and see COBI for myself,” says Alarcón. Marie had been following COBI since it’s successful Kickstarter days and really connected with the active mobile lifestyle COBI inspired. “I found their idea fun, useful and innovative,” says Marie.
The scene was set in Berlin, named the 12th most bike-friendly city in the world. A main actor was cast with two sidekicks, one being Lubega. The main actor hops on a stylish Jacob Schindelhauer bike with integrated COBI and takes off. Two biking sidekicks join him, Lubega and a female actor. Excitement builds and the COBI movement grows as the film continues with 30 bikers, including the casting call winners Alarcón and Marie.
At one point, the production shut down a tunnel in Berlin for filming. “It was crazy,” says Lubega, “we all were racing through this tunnel in a fan formation, chasing after the camera crew.” Both Alarcón and Marie also found the tunnel scene to be the most exciting part, with tons of cycling and commotion as the entire cast raced through the dark, trying to follow play-by-play instructions for the film crew.
At one point, the production shut down a tunnel in Berlin for filming.
For one of the final scenes in the film, the film crew and cast planned on traveling to a panoramic viewpoint in the city, on top of Teufelsberg. Never a dull moment, as the team made their way along the bike path to the viewpoint, they encountered a family of wild boars. Wild boars are nothing to laugh at, so they had to reroute back down the hill and climb up the back, carrying their bikes, ladies wearing heels and all. At the top, a few late night Berlin partiers decided to hang out and watch the scene unfold.
In between takes, the cast, crew and COBI staff got to know each other. “We got to meet people from all of over the world, hang out together and share stories about bikes,” says Carlos. Marie agreed. “Cyclists are generally cool people.” If COBI has its way, then the world will soon be filled with more “cool" cyclists.
Watch the newest edition to the COBI film library and experience it for yourself.