Written by on Mar 8, 2013. Posted in Production News

Traktor builds lemon grove and Parisian street filming on location in India for HSBC

Traktor built a lemon grove and a Parisian street on location in southern India for a new commercial for banking giant HSBC. The spot shows a small American girl meeting a new supplier in India for her multinational lemonade stand while she co-ordinates on the phone with her ‘branch’ in France.

Eight weeks of pre-production were spent scouting more than 50 lemon groves across India to get the right look. The team ended up using fake trees and lemons to build their own grove on a tea plantation near Coimbatore in the south of the country.

We custom-designed lemon trees and made an entire lemon grove with a barn in the middle of an abandoned school ground at the tea plantation.

Roopak Saluja, Bang Bang Films

“We custom-designed lemon trees and made an entire lemon grove with a barn in the middle of an abandoned school ground at the tea plantation,” comments Roopak Saluja of servicing company Bang Bang Films: “We had to find the correct lemon, 600 of which were airlifted to the nearest airport and over 1,500 matching fake ones were sourced from several Indian cities.”

Access and accommodation proved challenging too. Equipment had to be driven well over 1,100 kilometres from Bombay and the narrow local roads meant they were restricted with the size of the trucks they could use.

The three-day shoot coincided with a major medical conference nearby, which caused problems for hotel accommodation and air travel to the region.

“On the return journey,” says Richard Ulfvengren of Traktor, “a major portion of the crew had to drive through picturesque forest to reach the airport in Bangalore, which is a six-hour drive from the location, compared to the two hours to Coimbatore airport.”

A brief Paris-set scene was filmed near the main lemon grove set, with the city being largely recreated digitally using a blue-screen.

“We built a part set of a Parisian street 500 metres away on a lawn outside the tea plantation's guest house,” remarks Vinay Narkar of Bang Bang Films, adding: “Traktor's perseverance and working method coupled with the production team's spirited determination saw us through every challenge with minimal anxiety.”

Client: HSBC
Agency: JWT London
Creative Director: Hugh Todd
Production Company/Producer: Traktor
Location Scout: Algy Sloane
Location Co-ordinator: Mohammed Saif
TV Producer: Doug Wade
Assistant Producer: Monami Roy
Production Service Company: Bang Bang Films, India
Line Producers: Roopak Saluja, Mindy Tulsi and Vinay Narkar
First Assistant Director: David Lethem
Production Designer: Neville Stevenson
Production Stylist: Shruti Gupte
Assistant Production Stylist: Snehal Phadtare
Art Director: Sitaram Mistry
Director of Photography: Tim Maurice Jones
Second Unit DOP: Sophie Winqvist
Director: Traktor


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