Somesuch & Co films costumed character charge on New Zealand beach for Samsung
Somesuch & Co filmed a charge of costumed characters on location in New Zealand in a new spot for Samsung’s Smart TV. Fantasy horsemen, Roman soldiers, dragsters, chariots, a T-Rex and an airborne police unit race down a remote beach as a TV viewer decides which show he’d like to watch.
A southern hemisphere filming location was needed because of the time of year, and New Zealand was an easy pick partly because of its skilled crew base. Bethells Beach west of Auckland on North Island proved the practical choice for six days of filming, with the help of Film Auckland.
At high tide we could not film on the beach as we simply ran out of hard sand and vehicles could not drive - the sea was definitely the boss on this shoot!
Nick Goldsmith, Producer
“Because of the number of crew and cast involved it had to be a beach near Auckland, or it would be prohibitively expensive,” explains William Grieve of Big Pictures in Auckland: “We did look at other Auckland west coast beaches but Bethells is wider than most, so gave us the greatest shooting window between tides.
“Also, it was the last week of the school summer holidays so the council was naturally reluctant to approve other beaches because they were still being quite heavily used.”
Half the beach was closed off for the shoot and on the busiest days there were nearly 250 costumed actors sprinting across the sand. The logistical challenges involved sorting everyone with costumes and make-up and then moving from the unit base to the beach. Given that it was the height of the New Zealand summer, food, water and shade on the sand were all very important.
One of the spot’s centrepiece sequences involves a racing car that launches spectacularly into the air when it’s rammed by a minotaur's chariot. Stunt Co-ordinator Mark Harris drove the car himself at high speed off a pipe ramp on the sand and it was filmed using an Ultimate Arm mounted on a camera vehicle.
“The single biggest challenge filming on the beach was the tide,” comments Nick Goldsmith, Producer for Somesuch & Co: “Basically we had a shooting window based on the tides, which we had no choice but to adhere to. At high tide we could not film on the beach as we simply ran out of hard sand and vehicles could not drive - the sea was definitely the boss on this shoot!”
Agency: CHI & Partners, London
Creative Directors: Jonathan Burley and Rick Brim
Production Company: Somesuch & Co, London
Producer: Nick Goldsmith
Executive Producer: Tim Nash
Stunt Co-ordinator: Mark Harris
Production Service Company: Big Pictures, Auckland
Line Producer: William Grieve
Director of Photography: Benoit Debie
Director: Romain Gavras
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