Westside dodges weddings and uses motion control filming on location in Czech Republic
Czech Republic is a good destination for filmmakers looking for historical backdrops and reliable crews. Indian retail giant Westside has come for Endless Possibilities, a new commercial showing a young woman having fun in a retro city as she plays around with different outfits.
Good Morning Films thought about Turkey and Hungary as filming locations for their cultured but anonymous city, but settled on Czech Republic for what they saw as better costs and creative opportunities. Czech production tends to focus on Prague but the team ended up working in the nearby town of Liberec instead.
Production-wise Liberec was the best option for us, since we had to control a big square for two days. Prague would maybe fit, but it is harder to lock bigger places since Prague is overcrowded with tourists during the summer.
Jakub Drocar, Punk Film
Jakub Drocar line produced for Punk Film: “We had experience with Liberec and the main square was very similar to the director’s requests. We offered and scouted some other places for this project as well, including Prague locations of course. But also production-wise Liberec was the best option for us, since we had to control a big square for two days. Prague would maybe fit, but it is harder to lock bigger places since Prague is overcrowded with tourists during the summer.”
Liberec is only an hour’s drive from Prague. It offers similar architecture, as well as an industrial area and nearby mountains, but it lacks Prague’s international profile.
Location dealt with, the very concept of the spot presented a lot of technical issues. The commercial’s set over a number of days and they blend into each other as Giselli Monteiro - a Brazilian model and Bollywood actress - plays around with Westside outfits and interacts with herself throughout the spot.
Vikram Kalra produced for Good Morning Films: “The big challenge was that the script required Giselli to play multiple roles; as many as five in some sequences and in each of those roles her look and personality was to be distinct from the other. The tricky part was that these multiple roles within each sequence had to be shot very quickly so that the light remained constant (we were shooting in natural light) in the final shot when composited together.”
A Milo Motion Control Rig was imported from the UK to make sure the relevant shots could be precisely replicated. Irritatingly for the production, the rig isn’t necessarily the best option in a time-sensitive situation.
Drocar commented: “We had to reduce the original number of motion control sequences. It takes a lot of time to set it up and the rehearsals are difficult as well. We had a VFX supervisor on set, along with an experienced make up and costumes crew. We had planned those sequences thoroughly. We had to cancel the motion control for the interior also - it is too heavy and big to be used on the second floor without an elevator.”
It takes a lot of time to set up [the motion control camera] and the rehearsals are difficult as well. We had to cancel the motion control for the interior - it is too heavy and big to be used on the second floor without an elevator.
Jakub Drocar, Punk Film
The costume and make-up teams had their work cut out, routinely having only a 20-minute window between motion control shots to get Giselli out of one outfit and into another. On top of this the specific hours of the shoot schedule had to be re-planned around a wedding party that was already arranged to take place in the square at the same time. Still, at least the weather held up (despite bleak forecasts) and there were fewer tourists than there would have been in Prague.
Kalra added: “Punk Film and their team handled the situation and planned the entire shoot in an impeccable manner. Their Location Manager especially, Pavel Spacek, was excellent in the way he managed the tricky situation around permissions and timings.”
Agency: Ogilvy Mumbai
Executive Creative Director: Sumanto Chattopadhyay
Production Company: Good Morning Films, Mumbai
Producer: Vikram Kalra
Production Service Company: Punk Film, Prague
Producer: Jakub Drocar
Director of Photography: Jason West
Director: Sashank Chaturvedi
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