We’re big fans of BMW USA’s previous films – their groundbreaking The Hire film series ignored conventions and created the phenomenon known as online films. The Web has never been the same since.

These eight short films by critically acclaimed Hollywood directors effectively revolutionized the world of interactive entertainment, while showcasing the absolute limits of automotive high-performance exclusive to BMW. With big-name Directors including John Woo, Guy Ritchie and John Frankenheimer plus the acting talents of Clive Owen, the films earned more than 100 million views and numerous awards.

If you’ve never seen The Hire then head on over to our BMW Films channel on SkiddPlayer where you’ll find all 8 of them.

As before, these new Activate the Future films are being produced under a new franchise dedicated to crafting original, thought-provoking and entertaining content. It worked before, so if it ain’t broke..

Each documentary film last between 4 and 10 minutes and will become increasingly interactive, inviting viewers to share their viewpoints and get actively involved in the ever-evolving conversation on the future of mobility.

To what extent the campaign will function as a crowd-sourcing process or merely passive guidance towards BMW’s predefined solutions, we’ll have to wait and see, but it certainly seems to acknowledge that the process will be a collaboration between car maker and customer.

As with The Hire there are some big-names involved in these four new films, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Consumer Products and a host of interested stakeholders in the topic such as Graham Hill, founder of treehugger.com.

BMW’s first all-electric production vehicle due out this coming summer will be BMW’s 1 Series ActiveE, followed by the Megacity Vehicle (MCV) in 2013.

The trailer for the series was released today and you can watch the first film, The New City, on 1st February. Take a look at BMW’s ActivatetheFuture website and its Project-i Mobility Think Tank to find out more.