Written by on Oct 8, 2010. Posted in Production News

MTS Russia doubles Portugal for African Savannah and North Pole

Telecommunications company MTS Russia has filmed a new commercial in Portugal. The spot doubles locations in and around Lisbon for places as diverse as Belgium, Venice, the African Savannah and even the North Pole.

Belgium and Venice were both doubled in Aveiro in north-west Portugal. Marilyn Alexander, an Executive Director with Artists Group, said: “For Belgium, [the location] was supposed to be the Manneken Pis, which was approved. Our art department built it from scratch and inserted it into the entrance of an old church. However, the client then decided she preferred a lion’s head, which was done in post.

"Our Director Michel Sablinski flew after to Venice to take stills, which he used in Paintbox in post to boost the overall Venice feeling [used in several wide shots].”

Danielle van Berkel, with JWT International, said: “We shot this commercial in Portugal because that was the only country that could give us the four different looks that were required for our script. We only had two shooting days to cover the four different countries.”

The African Savannah and the North Pole were both doubled on a farm based just 20 minutes from Lisbon. Alexander said: “For the North Pole we have this weird area just out of Lisbon that we had discovered when (singer) Cat Stevens needed a desert location for his shooting. Once I saw it, I realised it could be used as both desert and snow.”

An igloo was built on the salt plains to complete the effect of an arctic environment. A tribal village was built on the nearby farm to complete the Savannah transformation. Van Berkel added: “Make sure that you have a good Location Manager and a good art department.”

Client: MTS Russia
Agency: JWT International
Production Company: Bazelevs
Production Service Company: Artists Group
Executive Producer: Marilyn Alexander
Locations: Pedro Amaro
Director of Photography: Andre Szankowski
Director: Michel Sablinski

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