Written by on Nov 22, 2011. Posted in Production News

Hypnotist plays with time for Nescafé on location in Mexico City

Instant coffee brand Nescafé has filmed a new commercial on location in Mexico City for the local market. In the ad, a hypnotist freezes life in an urban square and rearranges the crowd into poses that encourage them to have a more emotional connection with their surroundings.

Although the spot was filmed for the Mexican market the producers wanted a filming location that didn’t scream out ‘Mexico City’ so they scouted a series of locations in the city before settling on Plaza Santo Domingo.

The frozen people stood still and were shot in-camera; their stopped-in-motion arms and legs were assisted by braces and supports that were painted out in post.

Tom Wright, twofifteenmccann

Tom Wright heads the production group at twofifteenmccann: “Plaza Santo Domingo has a fairly general plaza location look (not too specific to Mexico City) with the best combination of elements we needed for a fountain, traffic and other elements important to the story. It’s a great plaza that didn’t make too much of a statement but that set a visually-arresting stage for our spot.”

The production team added some minor set dressing to the plaza, including newspaper and shoeshine stands, as well as a few benches. There’s a fair amount of digital trickery in the spot, but a lot of it started in-camera.

Wright adds: “The frozen people stood still and were shot in-camera; their stopped-in-motion arms and legs were assisted by braces and supports that were painted out in post. The look of their still positioning was enhanced somewhat in post to help portray a stillness that just standing still doesn’t achieve.”

Expect lots of people [in Mexico City]. Don’t think that just because you have a permit to shoot that you’ll be working on a closed set. Scout through the week to see what day is best.

Marco Márquez, Distrito Films

Locations in Mexico City can’t really be shut down completely for a shoot. The production negotiated with a church on the plaza and paid token sums to local businesses to get a little bit of control, but the shot list was actually planned around the assumption that filming would get more difficult as the plaza got more crowded.

Marco Márquez is with servicing company Distrito Films in Mexico City: “Expect lots of people. Don’t think that just because you have a permit to shoot that you’ll be working on a closed set. Scout through the week to see what day is best. A really busy day can make shooting really difficult. We shot the wide shots really early in the morning. As the day goes on tighten up because people and traffic control is very difficult.”

Credits
Client: Nescafé (Mexico)
Agency: twofifteenmccann, San Francisco
Agency Producers: Chris Weldon, Betsy Beale
Agency Director of Integrated Production: Tom Wright
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Producer: Paul Ure
Production Service Company: Distrito Films, Mexico City
Director of Photography: Ottar Gudnason
Director: Christian Bevilacqua

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