Stink films new Mercedes social media tie-in on location in Portugal
Stink chose Portugal to film a new Mercedes campaign designed to prompt viewer participation through social media. Taking its title from its Twitter hash, #YouDrive features a singer heading to a secret gig banned by local police, as he’s chased on the road and in the air.
Portugal fitted the brief both visually and financially. Paula Garr produced for Stink: “We wanted the location to look a little generic so it could be somewhere in South America or Europe; we avoided any distinctive landmarks. The beautiful weather [in Portugal] was also a consideration to provide a beautiful source of natural light which would enhance the Mercedes A class lines and curves.”
Shooting lasted eight days in both the Portuguese capital Lisbon and the northern city of Porto. Multiple finales were filmed and viewers were asked to choose the ending by voting on Twitter and using the #YouDrive hash.
Filming in two separate cities helped the production team showcase more locations. It also gave them greater flexibility with aerial shots in Porto that they couldn’t get in Lisbon because of airspace restrictions with the city’s airport.
The schedule was demanding given the range of alternate endings that had to be shot. Nick Page runs Page International Services: “On most days we were shooting two locations with the main unit (which was approximately 90 people), plus we had additional second-unit work.
“It was very difficult to define the final shooting schedule because we needed to study all our options with the Director, the DoP and the First AD. Then we selected the best and worked out the ideal time of day to shoot each location.”
We wanted the location to look a little generic so it could be somewhere in South America or Europe; we avoided any distinctive landmarks.
Paula Garr, Producer
Usefully, the team had a lot of police support. Road closures were taken care of easily and Page adds that the officers even played themselves and drove their own squad cars for the chase scenes: “With car shoots it is particularly important to have good police assistance for cutting traffic. Both in Lisbon and Porto the police are very film-experienced.”
Shooting took place Thursday to Thursday, with the weekdays spent in Porto where street closures can be set up during business hours more easily. The middle weekend was reserved for Lisbon, with the most challenging elements taking place in a container yard and five-star hotel the VIP Grande.
Page had filmed at both locations before: “The VIP Grade is always amazingly helpful, considering we needed to occupy a lot of the reception area and also surround the main entrance with 140 extras. We were able to do everything we needed here and we only finished filming at the hotel around midnight.”
Portugal’s reputation for lengthy permitting timeframes could have caused problems, but the team was able to get the process streamlined. Since the shoot took place Lisbon has actually set up its own dedicated film commission and a much shorter three-day permitting process has been promised.
Watch the campaign trailer below or for the full interactive campaign click here.
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Agency Producer: Rebecca Scharf
Production Company: Stink, London
Producer: Paula Garr
Production Service Company: Page International Services, Lisbon
Producer: Nick Page
Director of Photography: Anthony Dod Mantle
Director: Yann Demange
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