ASFAD: Ambush (2001)


A Short Film a Day
by John Frankenheimer


Short Films are extremely important to us, which is why one of our top priorities this year is covering a short film every day. While we’re starting the first thirty days on the site with fairly well known short films, we would like to get as many submissions as possible quickly. If you or someone you know has made a short film, please contact us at 

The Hire was a pretty ambitious undertaking that probably couldn’t have been done without a large corporate backer like BMW.

In 2001, BMW commissioned a series of eight short films, all of which star Clive Owen (at the peak of his “he might be the next James Bond” phase), as the nameless “Driver”. The Driver is someone you’d hire if you absolutely, positively needed something delivered, regardless of its sensitive nature, or how many other people would like to get their hands on it.

Appropriately enough, the first film in the series, Ambush, was directed by John Frankenheimer, who directed the excellent driving films, Grand Prix and Ronin. They went on to have more A-list directors like Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, John Woo, Tony Scott and more. They also starred James Brown, Gary Oldman, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Forest Whitaker and many others.

Catch the opening short right here:

The Hire short films were insanely popular, with over 11 million views in the first four months, and over 100 million times in the first four years. After the series begain, BMW’s sales numbers rose 12%, but the car company abandoned the project in 2005, with only the 8 films being completed.

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