Conversation with Rolls Royce's Marco Makaus
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A car with almost a hundred years of history. You've seen it on the street. You've seen it on the screen. Here's a short conversation on Roll-Royce in the movies.
QUESTION: For many decades, Rolls-Royce cars have appeared in films in and outside of Hollywood. From The Yellow Rolls-Royce to Gone in 60 Seconds, your cars play big parts in movies. Can you tell us a little bit about your company’s relation with the film & entertainment industry, how it began, and where it is now?
ANSWER: Frankly speaking, I don't think Rolls-Royce ever actively pushed for its cars to be featured in movies. Ever since the early years of the 20th Century, Rolls-Royce was the luxury car of choice: for the first two or three decades, together with other brands, such as Isotta Fraschini, Duesemberg and others, then later on its own, as a lone survivor of the golden age... For this reason, I believe, Rolls-Royce cars have been used by movie productions every time they needed to complement a character who was rich, successful, confident, and probably in his forties or fifties, i.e a little older than the typical sport-car playboy driver.
So, if Gatsby could be seen driving an Isotta (like von Stroheim in Sunset Boulevard), movies set in a later period could only use a Rolls-Royce: Auric Goldfinger in a Daimler or a Mercedes would not have worked!
Sure, as production contacted Rolls-Royce, the company got involved and put cars at their disposal (for instance, in a not-so-successful Audrey Hepburn movie shot in Paris whose title I don't remember, in which you can see two or three demonstrators owned and used by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Europe).
"The Yellow Rolls-Royce" is a different story and a unique one too, as it is the car itself which links separate and different episodes. I think it is a very modern movie as today we are more used to collect old cars and search their history, which is made of very different periods and adventures.
In short, for some movies a Rolls-Royce was just inevitable, like the choice of location.
Currently, there is nobody at Rolls-Royce specifically working with the film industry. On the other hand, we are part of the BMW Group, which has a rich history of cooperations with productions, and therefore I cannot rule out something coming from that channel.
QUESTION: Your website opens up with a video that introduces your Phantom Drophead Coupe. What is your opinion about the future of the internet and its function as a promotional tool for established companies like
ANSWER: Nobody can deny the importance of the Internet. It is true though that in our case this is an information tool that serves mainly the general public's curiosity, and has some usefulness in the very first phases of the buying process, when the Prospect starts thinking about this kind of purchase and prefers to gather the basic information in an anonymous way and from the comfort of home.
As the process goes on—typically for a few months—the complexity of the product forces the Prospects to create a 'real' contact with the product and with the people who can explain the 'soft' parts of the motor car.
Interview by Eren Gulfidan