Written by on Oct 5, 2010. Posted in Production News

Nissan shoots new ad in Vancouver with polar bear

Car manufacturer Nissan has filmed a new spot on location in Vancouver with a real polar bear called Aggy. The commercial shows a bear lamenting melting ice in its natural habitat. The animal treks all the way to a suburban driveway where it hugs a man who has an eco-friendly electric Nissan Leaf.

Shooting in Vancouver was determined largely on where the polar bear could shoot. Johnnie Frankel, an Executive Producer with Rattling Stick, said: “The polar bear was instrumental in this decision as it’s one of only very few that you are able to film with and have any kind of control.

"The polar bear’s trainer advised against travelling her far beyond her western Canadian home due to our schedule and anyway it wasn’t necessary as Vancouver and its surrounding area had everything we wanted.”

To maximise crew safety around the bear the team had to stay as quiet as possible and remain around the camera. In addition the shots themselves were kept very straightforward. Scenes at the beginning of the spot showing an iceberg melting and the bear swimming were taken from stock documentary footage.

A digital Aggy was used for a scene where she walks across a busy bridge and she was doubled by an actor in a bear suit for a close-up of the animal hugging the suburban businessman who drives the Leaf. Otherwise everything was filmed on location.

Frankel concluded: “Vancouver is a brilliant place to shoot. The people are amazing, with the best ‘can do’ attitude I have come across in 20 years of filming. Their locations are spectacular and there is very little they don’t have.”

Click here to view the ad.

Client: Nissan
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
Creative Directors: Chris Adams, Margaret Keene
Production Company: Epoch Films
Executive Producers: Lisa Margulis, Johnnie Frankel (of Rattling Stick, London)

Production Service Company: Treehouse North Productions
Line Producer: Karen Silver
Director of Photography: Franz Lustig
Director: Daniel Kleinman

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