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10th January 2013
Let’s go carnival
Executive producer Oscar Romagosa of CANADA gives us the mega-production low-down on their huge shoot for Brahma in Brazil

Is there some crazy production story behind these Brahma ads for Brazil? Was the shoot as mammoth as it looks?

Both commercials were shot in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and yes, the production was really big and complicated to execute.

Even if both commercials look pretty simple, they’re heavy post produced. Almost every shot had a green in it. We did this along with our friends at Glassworks Barcelona and they did an amazing job, we feel very grateful for what they did.

It was also our first time shooting in Brazil – it was the first production for Partizan in Brazil too, through their partner company MovieArt. It took us a while to get used to the local approach and get things rolling at high speed. After a couple of difficult days the production started running fast and smooth and we achieved amazing stuff and had wonderful people in the team. We’re happy.

It’s not really one take is it?

Traffic Jam is not one take, not at all. Our original idea was to try to do it in one take, using a spider cam in a real location, but things ended up quite differently.

We finally shot in Sao Paulo’s sambodrome, and we had to crop every single shot later to introduce the city background in 3D.

But the main thing was that the single shot idea was technically very difficult to achieve, and we had to do the shot in four different takes.

The first one was a steady cam on an electric vehicle, next there was a crane to fly over the bus scenes and we also got two additional parts of the shot using a cable cam in two different segments. These four different takes had to match together as if they were only one take.

For the last bit of the commercial where we had a 3D effect and had to make it match with the live action we shot on top of a stage that later would be the Trio Electrico you see in the ad.

We had to achieve the main shots in only one day, with a huge production device we couldn’t afford for longer, and using mainly daylight. So yes, it was hard, almost crazy.

But mainly the challenge came later in post, when we had to put together all those bits, shot using very different gears, and making it look as a single shot. The guys at Glassworks Barcelona worked like crazy to make it happen and you can tell they did. The final online was truly awesome and hard to believe after the whole process.

What were the main headaches of the production?

I think I already answered this a bit in the previous question. But mainly yes, we did not have much time to pre-produce and we were dealing with many actors and sequences, most of them with post effects to add, so at the end it was very technical and quite difficult to put everything together. We worked like crazy – together with the Brazilian team and the DOP Sergi Vilanova we brought from Barcelona- for the month or so we spent there, that’s a fact.

From a directing point of view, Lope, who was directing both commercials for CANADA, couldn’t lose a second to keep on solving stuff. I worked very closely with him along the whole process helping to make things roll. Altogether it was very amusing but also very demanding.

As I said, we worked together with many amazing local people, but if I had to drop a name I’d talk about Juarez Malavazzi, our first AD, I think we owe him a big part of this, he was simply a bright lighthouse all along he process. We was also a very nice person, we miss him a lot.

Phew. Anything else interesting about the shoot?

In a less technical approach, one of the big things of the shoot was to be shooting Ronaldo, the ex-football player, for the Airport commercial. He’s know as the Fenomeno in Brazil and he’s a real star there.

We are frank Barça supporters and we’ll never forget the incredible things Ronaldo did when he played for FC Barcelona in 1996. We actually talked to him about it, and he recognized that 1996 was an amazing year for him too, but he also added that we could be happy because we have Messi now, and he was right.

He actually was very interested in his role in the commercial, paying a lot of attention to Lope’s indications for his acting, which he eventually completed in a very successful manner.

Director: Lope, Canada
Executive Producer: Oscar Romagosa
Agency: Afrika
Creative director: Rodrigo Saavedra
Executive producers: Carol Dantas and Douglas Costa,  MovieArt
Post production: Glassworks, Barcelona