Expect the unexpected: 1st time bolt shooting on the beach in Vietnam
Plan A Production House has successfully wrapped up an exclusive project Freeze That Summer Feeling for Bia Saigon Chill, marking the first time shot with the bolt outdoors in Vietnam.
Bringing the bolt outside? If you told me that a month ago, I would think you were out of your mind haha. But gladly thanks to the effective teamwork and elaborate preparation, Plan A Production House has accomplished one of the most impossible missions in Vietnamese commercial industry.
Understanding the assignment, Plan A wanted to embrace the beauty of Vietnamese nature and sightseeings as well as the exclusivity and premium of Saigon Beer brand by deciding to shoot outdoors. Receiving a very interesting yet challenging brief from Ogilvy, Plan A came up with a bold idea of using a bolt to achieve the impressive stop-motion and match-cut effects. But the problem is: how can we bring the bolt, which belongs to the studio, outside its natural habitat?
It would be a lie if we said we were not nervous at all to bring the bolt outside as the transportation, timing for slow-mo effect and, most importantly, the unexpected weather turned out to be too many tricky questions we need to answer as a production team. But if not now, when? Gladly, the bolt team was willing to accept this mission with us, bringing the bolt to shoot outdoors for the first time in Vietnam.
Before being able to shoot the bolt outdoors, we spent a whole day testing in the studio to make sure we got everything we needed and calculate the exact time allocated for each shot. When shooting outdoors, the sunlight and location rented time would be limited, thus significantly crucial and precious. We built up the studio to exactly mimic the real location in terms of set design and the bolt's traveling distance to reduce the rehearsing time and unwanted mistakes when we bring the bolt outside. Every team had to work very hard together to not make our plan come true but to minimize any risks we might face on filming day. The timing problem was successfully solved thanks to our careful preparation.
Transportation was another big struggle. We upgraded the challenge to use the bolt on the beach, which was the essential element in the creative idea: bringing you to the beach when drinking the Bia Saigon Chill. We aim to carefully yet stunningly capture the refreshing moment of drinking the beer as if you were at the beach despite the extremely hot summer in the city. However, the beach became the most tricky location with the unbalanced ground and our nightmare: the stairs. The bolt team had to be there one day earlier and tried several ways to bring the bolt up and downstairs. We built a flat platform on the stairs, then combined the strength of both people and the pulley while putting the bolt on a trolley - what a complicated process.
(Check out our behind the scenes collection to know how we were able to do it!)
According to the shotlist, the beach day was obviously the busiest day as we shot two films in one day. As a result, the setting up and stabilizing time of the bolt (which might take up to 4 hours each time) must be very well-calculated in order to wrap up by sunset, let alone the bad weather situation we might face as the rainy season in the south of Vietnam has just commenced not long ago.
The rain started heavily the night before until 7 am in the morning. At that moment, we had to admit that we all gave up our hopes and already planned for another day of shooting. But as if it was the answer for our effort (and wholehearted prayers), the rain stopped at 7:30, giving us a beautiful sky and tremendous sunlight to start filming at 8:30 (phew!). The rest of the process went pretty smooth as we all came prepared. After this project, we learnt that preparation is truly the key when it comes to the real challenging battle like this. As long as we studied in advance, we would pass even the most difficult test (hope so haha). At Plan A Production House, we aim to break through the limitations and go above and beyond in terms of both technology and creativity.
The Freeze That Summer Feeling project has been the most exciting project we did this year so far, especially after the COVID-era. Words cannot describe how much we missed filming outdoors. Thank Sabeco and Ogilvy for this amazing opportunity and everyone for working relentlessly behind the scenes towards our common goal. We all should be proud of our developments and achievements at the end of this journey.