Written by on Apr 21, 2010. Posted in Production News

Continental Airlines ad doubles Buenos Aires for major international cities

Major commercial carrier Continental Airlines has doubled Buenos Aires for London, New York, Shanghai and Paris for its latest advert. Seamless follows a businessman as he walks across a busy urban street to a newsstand before meeting colleagues in the city. As he walks, the street behind him morphs into the different international cities to show his extensive travels.

Buenos Aires proved a cost-effective location in which to shoot rather than travelling all over the world. Marc Siegel, an Executive Producer with Kommitted Films, said: “We needed to find a place where the architecture was diverse enough to feel like different places in the world and that was a strong enough production centre where we would find the crew and equipment that we needed.”

The production got city permits to shoot and filmed at the weekend so that road closures would cause minimal disruption. Enrique Bacher, an Executive Producer with Altana Films, said: “Not many changes were needed to make the streets look like Paris or London as Buenos Aires looks very European. We used post booths, fire hydrants, hot dog vendors and street signs to create New York. The Shanghai setting was the biggest challenge. We used a street half an hour from the city centre and used traffic like rickshaws.” The cast was sourced locally and matte paintings were added in post-production to complete the effect.

In addition, the crew made use of a Milo Motion Control System to make sure all the different shots precisely matched. Mr Siegel said: “Basically, it’s a very large and somewhat cumbersome crane arm with a computer. You programme your move into the computer and then you can do multiple passes that are all exactly the same in timing and motion. The System comes with a technician who is specially trained to use the gear.”

A smaller and more advanced model called the Zebra System was the preferred choice, but it is not available in South America and was too expensive to import. Within the South American market the Milo System is only available in Bogota and so the production imported it from Colombia. They used 50 feet of track and had to allow time to construct it and take it down for different camera set ups.

Mr Siegel added: “My previous shoots in Argentina were very different and no-one on the production or location team mentioned having used these locations in that manner before.”

Click here to view the ad.

Client: Continental Airlines
Agency: Kaplan Thaler Group
Producer: Tim LeGallo
Production Company: Kommitted Films
Executive Producer: Marc Siegel

Production Service Company: Altana Films
Executive Producers: Enrique Bacher, Sergio Gullco
Director: Nathan McGuinness

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