Written by on Feb 24, 2011. Posted in Production News

Tenerife doubles for Latvia in new beer commercial

The forests of Tenerife have doubled for Latvia in a new spot for Latvian beer brand Lāčplēsis. The spot shows two bears working together to steal beer crates from a distracted van driver travelling down a forest road.

Latvian production company Grandma was looking for a summery forest environment to shoot during the Latvian winter. South Africa was considered but Tenerife was both cost-effective and offered the best approximation of the Latvian look.

Andy McLeod, of Film Canary Islands, said: “The catch was to find a forest location that resembled Latvia but was not covered in snow, as are the Latvian forests at this time of year. We came up with the Corona Forest in northern Tenerife, which had similar vegetation and although quite mountainous at 1,200 metres, had sufficient areas of flat terrain that would mimic the flat scenery of Latvia.”

Billy Pols, the Director, said: We were looking for a forest that has the same feeling and look as forests in Latvia and surrounding countries. Spain in general was considered. We needed sunlight as well. We found a nice forest up in the mountains with a very international look and feel.

The production struggled a little with the cold weather as the location was in the mountains. As the story’s set in the summer, the actor playing the van driver had to be wearing only a T-shirt and they had to be careful with the steam coming from his mouth when he breathed. The bear costumes were warmer, but they had their own problems.

Vaidus Vaickus, the Producer, said: “[The] bear suits were heavy so we hired two really fit guys. They were boxers from Romania living in Tenerife. But even for them it was a challenge to walk straight, jump or run through the forest in these suits. So shots with costumes really took a lot of time.”

McLeod added: “It was absolutely fabulous to see the faces of the [tourist] drivers as they went past the set, staring wide-eyed at actors in realistic bear costumes standing at the edge of the forest. One German tourist even slammed on the breaks to take a photo from the window...”

Client: Lāčplēsis (Latvian beer)
Production Company: Grandma, Lithuania
Producer: Vaidas Vaickus
Service Company: Film Canary Islands
Service Producer: Norbert A Schilling
Director of Photography: Daniël Bouquet
Director: Billy Pols

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