It was a fun but gruelling experience. We captured everything – no stock, which wherein lay both the fun and frustration.
The concept was the thing that excited me most about the project – sure we were able to explore some amazing places and cultures, but we were essentially able to say something quite meaningful – albeit slightly ‘done’ already. I think within the context of airline commercials, the agency and client were brave enough to do something unconventional.
There were a couple of things that were already on the table from the agency’s side like the female Saudi Drifter and the Burning Man crew, and I was able to inject some other interesting cultural and sub-cultural elements like the Wushu Martial Art Kids of Shaloan, the Bosozoku of Japan and the Shamans of Altai, to create a tapestry of the world, that is classic National Geographic-like in some ways but then also Vice-like in other ways.
Finding these people certainly wasn’t easy and I had to go down a personal Instagram and Facebook hunt. Friends of friends of random connections on Instagram got us some really interesting people.
We shot for five days in Malaysia and Kazakhstan, using these locations as backdrops for Saudi, Tokyo, China etc. We tried to cast authentically as possible, so had to dig in to the expat communities or fly people in.
Fun fact – all of the 16MM and Drone footage was captured without the agency or client being aware that we were shooting extra.
Sometimes magic can happen behind the scenes. My DP, VFX Supervisor and I had a good rhythm on this project and we made sure that the cameras were always rolling.
Director: Salomon Ligthelm
Production Company: Stink London
Temp Sound Design: Jamie Foord + Salomon Ligthelm
Service Production: Radioaktiv and Passion Pictures
Executive Producer: Blake Powell
Line Producer: Annabel Ridley
Production Coordinator: Lucy Banks
Production Manager: Andrew Lavene
DP: Stuart Winecoff
VFX Supervisor: Iwan Swartz
Colorist: Tom Poole at Company 3
Color Producer: Clare Movshon
1st AD: Tirso Rueda
CD: Gatis Murnieks
Creative Group Head: Gabriel Mihailescu
Senior Copywriter: Iulia Soare
Agency EP: Pavel Karykhalin
Agency EP: Sergey Yahontov
Account director: Anna Zemskova
Senior Producer: Anna Tafrova