Written by on Apr 16, 2012. Posted in Production News

RSA races digital greyhounds on location on California’s salt flats for Absolut

Absolut Vodka has taken to the salt flats of California with RSA. The new spot shows a group of extravagantly-dressed individuals gathering on the flats to race robotic greyhounds, while house music group Swedish House Mafia provides the soundtrack.

Filming was always going to take place on salt flats because of their associations with land speed records and general racing events, so it was just a matter of picking the best place. Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah tends to be first choice for projects looking for this kind of environment, but in the end another logistical factor came into play.

Robert Valdes is Head of Production at TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York: “Just about everything you've ever seen on a salt flat was shot at Bonneville and that is actually where land speed records are recorded.

In the end though we chose the Bristol Salt Flats as they provided the same beautiful, pristine white look that you get at Bonneville, while also being logistically better for us since we needed to shoot Swedish House Mafia in LA.

Robert Valdes, TBWA\Chiat\Day

“In the end though we chose the Bristol Salt Flats [in California's Mojave Desert] as they provided the same beautiful, pristine white look that you get at Bonneville, while also being logistically better for us since we needed to shoot Swedish House Mafia in LA.”

Extreme weather conditions on the flats were the biggest challenges facing the production team. Filming in the middle of the wet season they faced snow and drizzle on the drive to the location, while temperatures see-sawed between blistering heat and freezing early mornings and evenings.

Valdes comments: “The crew muscled through the long shoot days outside and much sunscreen was used. The surface of the salt flats also provided a challenge for our cast. Many of the women had to be carried to their marks, as they couldn't actually walk in wardrobe on the salt flats. But all things considered these were minor issues.”

The surface of the salt flats also provided a challenge for our cast. Many of the women had to be carried to their marks, as they couldn't actually walk in wardrobe on the salt flats.

Robert Valdes, TBWA\Chiat\Day

In the end they weren’t affected by rainfall during the actual shoot, although the weather conditions did affect the colour of the salt, which was altered in post-production.

Valdes adds: “It was a great shoot and we were fortunate to be working with Carl and RSA. Carl had shot on salt flats before and he and his team brought that experience to bear in our production. It was a great shoot and we were very lucky that the gods of the salt flats were co-operative.”

Credits:
Client: Absolut
Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York
Creative Director: Hoj Jomehri
Head of Production: Robert Valdes
Production Company: RSA, Los Angeles
Producer: Nalina Baratz
Line Producer: Betsy Blakemore
Director of Photography: Claudio Miranda
Director: Carl Erik Rinsch

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