Written by on May 31, 2010. Posted in Production News

VW chooses India for Polo photo shoot

Major vehicle manufacturer VW has filmed on location in India for a photo shoot advertising its Polo car. The campaign will run alongside its television commercials that doubled South Africa for India. The photo shoot production shot in several locations throughout the country, including Rajasthan, Jim Corbett National Park, Pune and Lonavala, both in western India.

Crew from FA Cesar travelled to India with a letter of invitation covering their main passport details and then acquired journalist visas once they arrived. Travelling with a tourist visa means no equipment can enter the country.

Amitabh Bhattacharya, an Executive Producer with Nomad Films India, said: “If you have time on your side (at least two weeks) then try and get a journalist visa. Ensure that the equipment list is endorsed by the Indian Embassy in the country of origin.”

The production used an FG2 Glassrig camera system for much of the shoot, which was imported by Move ‘n Shoot from Los Angeles. Jakob Schubert, a Producer and Photo Assistant with FA Cesar, said: “The camera rig weighs nearly a tonne and was in transit for 70 days from Los Angeles. Then it took three weeks to clear Customs in India because nobody knew what it was. There’s a lot of corruption in the lower ranks of the Customs authorities as everyone’s looking to make some money.”

He added that they took as much as they could in their hand luggage to avoid further complications and delays. He suggested that crews should look to hire equipment locally or in Thailand to avoid the enormous Customs expenses. Alternatively, an experienced importer could be used who can help get the best deals.

Mr Bhattacharya explained the challenges of filming with cars in India once the production started: “Transporting cars over long distances can be quite painful sometimes. As roads in India are still not too wide, container carriers are allowed to move only at certain times of the day. We also have interstate taxes which need to be cleared at check points.”

The production became the first of its kind to shoot on the Mumbai Sealink structure, one of India’s newest landmarks that only opened to the public in March 2010. Mr Bhattacharya said: “Getting permission took time as it is a brand new structure and the government had not opened it for shoots. Once we were on it we had no problem. But getting permission is still quite difficult.”

Mr Schubert concluded: "For such big productions that come from abroad, it will be quite difficult and it’s not recommended if they expect the same standards as in the USA, South Africa and Europe. For smaller productions that are looking for specific locations and people in India, it will work fine. In the end it is incredible India, which is a great experience."

Client: Volkswagen Group India
Agency: DDB Mudra
Creative Director: Bobby Pawar
Art Director: Ajmal Mohammad, Ankita Killawala
Head of Production: Riyaz Memon
Production Service Company: Nomad Films India
Executive Producer: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Photographer: Alex Rank, FA Cesar
Camera Rig: Move ‘n Shoot

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  • Bharat Arja


    I need to know where this VW POLO 2010 Ad is been shoot.

    Plz help.