Written by on Jul 16, 2014. Posted in Production News

MJZ sets aerial wirework to Shakespeare filming Ikea Beds in Johannesburg

MJZ filmed on location in Johannesburg in South Africa for Beds, a new spot for Ikea. The piece shows a woman waking on a bed in the clouds before tumbling gently downwards against a dramatic sky – and to a voiceover from Shakespeare’s The Tempest – as she arrives in her bedroom.

A great stunt team was needed for the complex wirework and skydiving footage, most of which was shot in-camera with subsequent visual effects work from MPC. South Africa proved the best filming location choice for the budget and Johannesburg was a good local option as its winter months are bright and dry.

The stunt team was brought in from Cape Town and with the help of service company Stillking the production used a series of immense cranes and stunt wirework to shoot the woman’s descent from above the clouds.

“South Africa is a hi-tech centre for Hollywood-style stunts,” explains Stephen Johnson, Producer for MJZ: “We had a 150-tonne crane and a 220-tonne crane supporting a cable-cam system and our girl on a wire. Our actress ended up performing much of the skydiving herself with a concealed parachute. The final shots where she falls between the buildings were all filmed in-camera, with the girl hanging from a 40-metre-high crane.”

The 220-tonne crane came with its own crane to be established and we had to block the entire road off.

Rudi Rossouw, Stillking

All the footage was captured using a high-speed Red camera rig to create the final dreamlike look. This created a challenge when the team had to find the one camera operator in the region who was able to operate a small Red on a head mount for the skydiving shots.

“Usually skydiving footage is filmed with a camera like a GoPro,” Johnson adds: “We used the smallest Red camera, which meant our operator had to modify his landing technique to come in on his bottom!”

Adds Rudi Rossouw of Stillking: “The 220-tonne crane came with its own crane to be established and we had to block the entire road off for the base. Steve Watchorn, our Unit & Location Manager did a fabulous job getting all the permissions locked down within the allocated timeframe.”

Client: Ikea
Agency: Mother
Production Company: MJZ
Producer: Stephen Johnson
Executive Producer: Debbie Turner
Production Service Company: Stillking, South Africa
Service Company Producer: Rudi Rossouw
Visual Effects: MPC
Director of Photography: Eric Gautier
Director: Juan Cabral


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