Written by on Mar 19, 2010. Posted in Production News

New Specsavers ad shoots in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Specsavers has shot its new commercial on a beach in Tayrona National Park in north Colombia. Specs Effect features hundreds of bikini-clad women running though a jungle to a beach where a man sprays himself with deodorant. The women then turn away when the man puts on a hideous pair of glasses to see them properly. The spot parodies the 2006 Lynx commercial Billions.

Rattling Stick considered filming in South Africa but decided on Colombia when they saw images of Tayrona National Park. The park’s beaches have been rated as among the best in the world by The Guardian newspaper in recent years.

Tayrona approximates the location used in the original Lynx advert (which was filmed in pricier Los Angeles), while Colombia offered easier casting options for the women too. Chris Morrison of Rattling Stick said: “We had planned to cast in Miami and Venezuela, but in the end we sourced all the girls in Colombia.”

Warren Keuning, of Twentyfour-Seven in Colombia, said: “The main actor was cast by our client in the UK. As for the girls we found and flew in 40 lead girls from Bogota and Medellin and then 60 extras were cast in the closest city, Santa Marta.” The crowds of additional girls were created in post-production.

Mr Keuning said the park is attracting more shoots as it can easily double for very remote places despite the abundance of local amenities that include restaurants, boutique villas and changing rooms: “In the opening scenes of the Specsavers spot you would never guess that we only had to run about 40 metres of cable to our generator and had the lighting truck and camera van at similar distances.”

As part of efforts to have a minimal environmental impact on the national park, the production also took a green approach to catering for the crew and expansive cast. Five crew members wore back-mounted water tanks and served water in sterilised coconut shells and reusable plastic cups. The approach resulted in only about three bags of litter generated from a production totalling some 220 individuals.

The production got a filming permit from the Bogota-based Colombia National Parks board and the advert’s final aerial shot was captured from a helicopter using a gyro-stabilised Tyler Middle mount. Specsavers avoided the possibility of higher insurance costs by supplying a security team to monitor the shoot. Colombia is often thought of as being a dangerous place to shoot, but according to government figures no international film crew has had problems with criminal activity in the last 15 years and the national crime rate has fallen dramatically in recent years.

Click here to view the ad.

Client: Specsavers
Agency: Specsavers Creative
Production Company: Rattling Stick
Producer: Johnnie Frankel
Production Services Company: Twentyfour-Seven
Producer: Warren Keuning

Creative Director: Graham Daldry
Director: Daniel Kleinman

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