Chivas quartet gets lost in the wilderness on location in Chile’s Atacama Desert
Blended scotch whisky brand Chivas Regal has sent four male friends into the desert for new short Here’s to Big Bear. The film - one of two made for the brand - shows the friends in a bar recalling the adventure of getting off a train in a desert after a party and meeting eccentric lorry driver Big Bear.
The script was written to be filmed in Los Angeles and California, but the production would have had to satisfy the Screen Actors’ Guild to shoot, putting restrictions on casting. To avoid the complication the team scouted around the world.
Santiago’s a good double for an American setting. It has a lot of different locations that reflect a lot of different time periods.
Stephen Brierley, Park Pictures
Stephen Brierley produced for Park Pictures: “We scouted in Spain, South Africa, Mexico and Canada. South Africa was pretty close to what we needed but we would’ve had to go to Namibia for the train sequence. Mexico was also seriously considered for a bit, but then the director Joachim Back thought Chile could work as he’d had a good experience before with Moonlighting.”
In the end the Atacama Desert became their wilderness location, accessed from Santiago via an internal flight and a few hours’ driving to a hotel usually used by copper miners. There were three weeks of preparation, including extensive negotiations with the Government and a rail company for use of the train over the four-day shoot.
Shooting took place in the off-season at the end of July and beginning of August. The weather was cold and there was a little bit of rain, but nothing that caused major delays. The bar scenes were filmed in Santiago.
Brierley added: “Santiago’s a good double for an American setting. It has a lot of different locations that reflect a lot of different time periods. The film itself doesn’t have an explicit spatial setting, although the inference is that it’s LA and California.”
Client: Chivas Regal
Agency: Euro RSCG London
Creative Director: Mick Mahoney
Production Company: Park Pictures, London
Executive Producer: Stephen Brierley
Production Service Company: Moonlighting Chile
Executive Producer: Sylvie Dubé
Location Managers: Miguel Marino, Martin Mezzera
Director of Photography: Sebastian Blenkov
Director: Joachim Back
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