Samsung shoots fantasy battle commercial in Czech Republic
Electronics giant Samsung has shot a new commercial for its Galaxy S phone in several quarries in the Czech Republic. Epic shows two armies battling each other in a rugged landscape, with a reveal showing the footage is being watched on a Galaxy S.
Countries such as Israel, Spain and Morocco were all considered as shoot locations as the production was looking for a remote desert landscape. The Czech Republic eventually won out. Although not renowned for its desert locations, it was the cheapest option and quarries at Kaznejov, Karlovy Vary and Ledcice near Prague were chosen (featured images courtesy of Nataly Aveillan).
Karel Pavlovsky, the Executive Producer with Filmservice/Czech Connection in Prague, said: “We needed quite a big and open space for the war sequences. The other important thing was the colour of the sand and stones. Kaznejov is one of the oldest kaolin quarries in the Czech Republic. In general, kaolin is white or light grey and that’s exactly what [Director] Bruno Aveillan was looking for.”
Arranging the four-day shoot and getting the relevant permits took time due to the nature of what the production wanted to film. Marc Benardout, the Producer with Believe Media, said: “We had extreme stunts with weaponry and high falls, we had horses and horse combat in confined areas of mud and water, and we had crowd scenes in terrain that was deemed to be precariously fragile.”
The demands of the content combined with the fact that the quarries are all fully operational, with trucks and explosions being part of the daily routine. Shooting took place mainly at the weekend and quarry representatives were present to keep an eye on everything. A full army camp was built at one quarry in the fantasy style of the piece, while another was partially built as foreground set dressing.
Rain interruptions were among the biggest challenges. This forced frequent scheduling changes, which were a constant issue given the number of extras, the special effects involved and the fact that the crew numbered over 100.
Benardout concluded: “[Epic] depicts a fantastical landscape in the vein of 300 and Clash of the Titans, but it’s supposed to be a timeless hybrid and homage to warrior films from such greats as Kurosawa and Lean.”
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Agency: Leo Burnett Worldwide
Creative Directors: Vince Cook, Colin Selikow
Production Company: Believe Media
Producers: Marc Benardout, Gerard Cantor, Liz Silver
Production Service Company: Filmservice/Czech Connection, Prague
Executive Producer: Karel Pavlovsky
Director: Bruno Aveillan
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