Written by Shona Smith on Jul 1, 2020. Posted in On Location

Boudika Productions collaborates with Tenerife companies as Spain opens up for filming

Izaskun Montilla from Boudika Productions says that collaboration and cooperation was key to pulling off the first remote shoot. After a strict lockdown, the service company collaborated with twenty Tenerife companies to exhibit the talent and locations available.

“At the beginning of March in Spain there was a hard lockdown and we were all worried about the future of our companies and jobs. When remote shooting became a viable option to restart filming I spoke to my usual providers Luis Cesar Izquierdo owner of Camera Rental Canarias and Rafa Rodriguez from Blackout Films. Together we decided to create a real remote shoot to see how the experience worked”.

In mid-May, the Spanish Government opened the possibility to shoot in the streets and public locations. "We had the chance to deal with shooting permits so we started to work with the idea of making a spot about the great locations in Tenerife. We then invited the rest of our usual providers as well as technicians to join us in this project, that has been done with no budget at all, and thanks to the involvement of all the professionals willing to start shooting. Thanks to all of them, we have been able to carry out this project, implement the sanitary protocols and experiment with remote shooting whilst showing the great locations in the islands".

The filming took place over two days, utilising a wide variety of landscapes ranging from the 'lunar world' of the Ucanca Valley or green forests, to the beaches and coasts of the island, passing for its contemporary architecture and urban interiors. The project was directed completely remotely by Munich based director Ivan Sainz Pardo, multi awarded for his shortfilms El Laberinto de Simón and Ainhoa and Madrid based DOP Jose Martín Rosete known for his films Remember Me, Zero or Invierno en Europa.

Productions have adopted new ways of working for remote shoots, such as broadcasting directors over loudspeakers in studios. With this shoot happening entirely on location, the entire crew communicated through a phone app which makes mobiles work like walkie talkies and enabled the whole crew to be connected with director and DOP.

“For remote shooting, you need to be careful to select locations as internet connection is a must, and when shooting outside this is something that can sometimes be an issue" explains Montilla. "To manage this, we recommended that location scouting or at least director’s scouting is done with the streaming team, to confirm locations are an option for the streaming while shooting”.

The spirit of collaboration and cooperation extended between twenty Tenerife companies “without them, this could not have happened. It was a novel experience for us all” says Montilla.

The project was a chance to demonstrate the high quality and technical capabilities of local talent, technicians and companies on the island. “National and international producers can thus reduce costs since the personnel and local materials cover the needs of a high standard shoot in its entirety” says Montilla.

The shoot also offered a chance to test run remote shooting and new health and safety protocols.

“The crew was around forty people first day and twenty-five for the second. Because we shot mainly in natural landscapes social distancing was easy but we divided crew in the ones that need to be on set (camera, light…) and the ones not needing to be on set (drivers, catering etc). These created efficient small groups. All crews are used to being very precise in their working methods and timings, so all the sanitary protocols is just something else we need to add to our usual working practices” says Montilla.

Making of A Thousand Worlds from Boudika Productions on Vimeo.

The entire project through to post production was done on the island, in collaboration with the Tenerife Film Commission and Canarian Audiovisual Cluster. Boudika Productions was the producer and creator, accompanied by Camera Rental Canarias providing the camera, High Voltaje supplying the lighting material, Canary Film Sound in the sound, The Boss with the trucks and logistics, Multicopter Canarias with the drone, Outlabs Canarias as head of the camera workflow and DIT service, Blackout for the entire post-production, Maligrip with the grip team, El Taller Imaginario in art direction, Kubik Visual in the making of, Chema Hernández as Visual Effects Manager (VFX), in addition to the Gran Canarian MTS Servicios that performs the steadicam and Sinergy Stream for the remote control system. To these we have to add the catering by Gomeralia, H.M. Assignment Services to cover the entire part of cleaning and disinfection, Circe in the risk assesment, Rewinder 40 that provided reusable and ecological masks and La Residencia accommodation for technicians coming from neighbour islands.

In May Spain lifted its tax incentive programmes. The rebate now stands at 50-45% direct deduction for foreign shoots in the Canary Islands, if spending at least EUR1 million in expenses in the islands.

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