We were asked to create a series of 8 Ads for Palladium resorts in Tulum, Mexico. The ads included kids underwater holding a starfish, couples jumping off cliffs, bike riding, wedding scenes in and outdoors, a sexy couple on the beach, you get the picture. This was a large production, and we had to move people and gear from the US as well as around Tulum and the resort.
I know, your first thoughts were probably a piece of cake or what a lucky guy…
Not so fast grasshopper.
Shooting in foreign countries is challenging. Getting into the country alone, can be dicey, as very few governments allow outside vendors to come into their country for work purposes. Getting your gear into a foreign country requires a lot of prep and a little luck…And by the way, why do you have all this gear and crew if you’re not working here….
Many of the areas that we needed access to were operated by government tourism agencies. Any legal access requires a great deal of wheeling and dealing and paperwork.
Working with an amazing Ad agency is a major plus. The CD, SAD and AE were all awesome and contributed greatly to make this shoot a success. The clients worked hard to help us accomplish our goals and took excellent care of us.
The producer was my first call to put estimate #’s together and to review the challenges of the shoot. We had done a few shoots in Mexico prior with Raul, an amazing producer that we love to work with, so we had a pretty solid idea of what was going to be required.
A key to working in a foreign country is to speak the language, or have someone on the crew that does! Each country has their own way of getting things done so having someone on the crew that knows the ins and outs of permits and where there may or may not be flexibility is important.
On a large shoot like this, putting the right crew together and pre pro makes all the difference. I like to think that’s one of our strongest assets.
Once we had the planning done, any experienced photographer will tell you, you might as well throw it all out the window! Once you’re on site with crew, gear, models, wardrobe and props, inevitably the client will have some new input or concerns and you need to be up to the challenge and prepared to make it all smooth and beautiful. This is what is means to be a pro! It’s not going out and taking pretty vacation pictures…
The client hired a video crew to shoot BTS and make a video. They were as unobtrusive as possible, and great to coordinate with. I’ve attached a link to the video.
Everyone on this shoot was awesome. Many of the environments changed at the last minute as did the situations. The clients and the agency were extremely happy
with the outcome. Here are a few of the Ads from our 3 day shoot.
For an even larger challenge, our next shoot was in Saudi Arabia on a military base…. But, that’s a different story!
Client Remarks: Happy New Year! I received your beautiful Christmas card and it put such a smile on my face. Working with you and the crew was a highlight of my year and I can't wait to do more with you all!
Check out behind the scenes from our shoot!