10 Settembre 2023
Branding | Existence | News
Filming in Arabia: a unique and challenging production experience
When Federico Cavicchioli, a colleague and a friend, came to me to share this project, we both knew that it won’t be just a job.
Working for Existence – Raw Ties Group at Al Ula has been an incredible, intense, and exciting experience.
Every single moment of the journey, from the beginning to the fly-back trip, has been a moment of singular beauty.
Both of us are thorough guys, we usually spend a lot of time looking at things trying to understand the sense of what we are going to do so, as one can imagine, this work was carefully prepared in the months that preceded the days of shooting.
The mission was to create and produce three clips centered on the new Existence jewel collections, aka three commercials with a strong creative and artistic vision.
We spent weeks defining the entire communication concept, writing the stories and the scripts, transforming them into scenes, therefore into storyboards.
It was intense. We confronted each other over and over on every aspect, creative and logistic, preparing for the challenge to port abroad and in a very peculiar environment a production of this complexity.
All the creativity was supported by our creative pillar Daria Borovkova who, with her vision of the brand, guided us through the journey inside the brand philosophy
Flying and scouting
Then the time has come to leave, after a long preparation that also involved local technicians and logistics, able to get the required needed equipment in Saudi Arabia and specifically in Al Ula.
The production was scheduled for 10 days of work. We did location scouting for the first two days, guided by local rangers and scouts.
Finding the right places that represented what we wanted to shoot was intriguing and engaging and it was one of the most important moments of the production.
Assisted by a great team that provided us with every need we had, from logistical to personal, we start to shoot from the third day on.
Sunny, sandy and hot.
Being on the field and putting into practice the scenes that we had thought of and transcribed in the storyboard, was one of the most interesting challenges of the whole work.
Working in that environment at that temperature is a challenge, for people and gear, especially electronic ones (the gear, not the people .)
Of the two ARRI Alexa Mini that we had on set just one, the most sensitive one we supposed, fainted at 44° Celsius, giving us a useful heads up.
The production team dealt every single day with a great number of challenges and things to be fixed, snakes and scorpions included, to make all this possible.
They did a very great job.
Starring Sati Kasanova
The presence of Sati Kasanova was the most important creative contribution that was given to the whole production.
We knew, of course, that we would have worked with her and we kept that in mind during the writing of the script and the storyboards, but to have Sati on the set, with her ability to improvise and her creativity all around, added to the production an immeasurable value.
Her voice and her physicality on the set have involved everyone in the best possible way, insufflating a pure breath of beauty.
The sound of sands
In this kind of production sonorization and music have a great part to define the mood and ensure the right feeling.
The scores that so perfectly refined our work have been produced by the composer Fabio Costantino, in this project since the early beginning, adding his visions to the whole concept.
He captured the atmosphere interpreting the feeling, capable to sense the subtle moods that pervaded all scenes we shot, even not being there during the shooting.
A special mention has to be dedicated to all the film crew, in particular to Rabhi Felfly and Younes B, respectively First Cameraman and Digital Intermediate Technician who, with their work, skills and dedication, have made all this possible.
AD | Daria Borovkova
PERFORMER | @satikazanova
COMPOSER | Tehdos
SOUND ENGINEER | Carlo Longo
CAMERA | @rfelfly
DIT | @u.s_2021
STYLING | Daria Borovkova
PRODUCTION | @Existence
Arri Alexa Mini
Arri/Zeiss Ultra Prime lens t1.9 – 12mm
Arri/Zeiss Master Prime 50mm
Arri/Zeiss Master Prime 75mm
Arri/Zeiss Ultra Prime 135mm
Zeiss Master Macro 100mm
Cp3 Zeiss 35mm
Cp3 Zeiss 25mm