Faruk Heplevent is the founder and CEO of The Scope CGI Studio, and has been working in automotive marketing for nearly two decades. In that time Faruk has worked on global campaigns for brands like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and BMW, and he’s here today to talk about harnessing the power of visual impact in marketing.
The chat with Faruk started with a biography of his experience in photography, particularly within the automotive industry.
“My heritage is photography,” explains Faruk. “Back in the 90s I worked with automotive brands, and stayed in car photography around 2007. This was the time when CGI was pushing into the market, and it was taking away jobs, and I started looking into it - opened The Scope, doing touch-ups and then moved into full scale automotive.”
When Faruk began to incorporate CGI into his work, he quickly realized how he could pair his real-world skills with capturing imagery with the tech, and in turn give automotive brands an added layer of IP security, especially around significant milestones, like the launch of a new model.
“The Scope Studio was really good at details and sets and locations,” explains Faruk. “And so for us, the launch aspect of automotive marketing was really where we hit. When you’re releasing a new car, getting a location and secretly shooting it without drawing attention was tough, CGI helped make launches easier and could accommodate the need for secrecy.”
We then started talking about the versatility and efficiency of CGI in marketing and how some older barriers in photography were easy to overcome thanks to this new technology.
“The creative barriers taken down by CGI is when you’re on set, you depend on the light, time of year, weather,” says Faruk. “You always wanted to hit the ‘magic hour,’ or just as the sun is rising or setting, but you’d get 20 minutes of perfect light in the AM or PM - so with CGI, you have no time constraints.”
But this doesn’t mean there are no new barriers cropping up with digital graphics and the incorporation of AI. Faruk had some really insightful things to say about this topic.
“I think the barriers with CGI and AI are similar to all tech innovations of the past,” says Faruk. “You still have to think, do, and decide. The more advanced and easier-to-use the technology, the less thinking is happening, when there needs to be even more thought going into the project. The risk with AI in photography is sloppiness. You can easily overshoot, generate too much content, too many outputs and render variations, so you are overwhelmed with output. Take a breath, think about what you want, then use the tech to get there.”
To hear Faruk’s thoughts about the way technology has changed media, what future CGI applications he’s interested in, a supremely awesome tangent about virtual reality versus actual reality, and if Faruk prefers cheese or chocolate, listen to the full show at the links provided above and below.