Written by on Jan 18, 2011. Posted in Production News

Mercedes heads to British Columbia for forest location shoot

Rustic log cabins clash with suave sophistication in the new commercial for the Mercedes CLS, which filmed in the forests around Vancouver. Escaped to the Mountains follows a man who’s given up his modern life to live in a lakeside cabin, only to stumble across the new Mercedes.

A Los Angeles shoot was considered, as were various locations in Alberta and British Columbia, but Vancouver eventually came out on top. David Bouck, with Means of Production in Vancouver, said: “The primary goal was to find an epic landscape location for our hero’s cabin that was convincingly remote but at the same time close to the crew and equipment base in Vancouver. Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Park, about an hour east of downtown Vancouver, suited this purpose perfectly.”

The production paid a “hefty” deposit to the park authority before moving in to build the cabin. Vancouver’s popularity among filmmakers meant getting shooting permission was pretty easy. Justin Mundhenke, a Producer with erste liebe filmproduktion, said: “The specific setting was the forest - lonesome in the middle of nowhere. I tell you, it was in the middle of nowhere. We brought all the stuff down to this lake location. We built a cabin, we brought a horse there and all the stuff for the shoot. It was an awesome, very beautiful location.”

In addition to the cabin, a 50-metre-long elevated dolly track was built in the forest for shots where the hero runs through the trees chasing his dog.

It took three Grips a full day to build, but it was needed for practical and environmental reasons.

Bouck said: “[Building the elevated track] minimised the damage to the forest floor in the park. It also brought the camera up above the ferns and fallen branches so allowed for a clearer view of the actor as he ran through the forest. In addition it created a level surface for the camera to travel on over changing terrain.”

A Wescam stabilised camera system from Vancouver-based Pictorvision was used to capture the final shot as the Mercedes drives across Lions Gate Bridge. Mundhenke commented: “We shot it on a Sunday morning and it was the first time that a production locked the bridge completely for a shoot. The production service company made it happen.”

He concluded: “The landscape of Vancouver and British Columbia is so manifold. You will find the perfect forest, great streets, a big downtown feeling and great production support in an area of two to four hours around Vancouver.”

Client: Mercedes
Agency: Jung von Matt/Alster, Germany
Creative Director: Thimoteus Wagner
Production Company: erste liebe filmproduktion
Producer: Justin Niklas Mundhenke
Production Service Company: Means of Production, Vancouver
Line Producer: Ed Callaghan
Director of Photography: Jan Velicky
Director: Aleksander Bach


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