Crossroads, Cows and different Cultures


What have four huskies, a Maasai, an Eskimo and three cows in common? Actually nothing, just that we put them on a crossroads of a principal street with high volume traffic on the "Kings Day"-shopping weekend. (The Spanish give their Christmas presents this day.) 

But let´s go back to the beginning.

It all started with a simple TV commercial request for city locations, casting an African man for the role of a "Maasai" and extras and to get minimum 3 cows. That wouldn´t be a problem as there is a large African community on the islands and there´s also lots of agriculture, including cows. So far so good.

Then our clients extended their request and wanted, for the same brand, a Chinese male, able to play an Eskimo and about four to six Huskies and a typical Huskie sled. The Sled? - An easy request for our construction department - done. A Chinese? - Shouldn´t be a problem as there are many Chinese shops and restaurants here - done. But the Huskies...First I thought it would be impossible to find on the island of "eternal spring" a Huskie let alone four of them. But after a quick research this challenge was solved as well, finding out that there´s a Huskie breeder in Tenerife, happy to work with us, too.

After finalising human and animal castings and locations and finishing the sled construction, finally we got to the shoot day.

Location: one of the biggest crossroads with high traffic in the city centre of Santa Cruz.

Even in our "eternal spring" the mornings can be quite cool in December with 16 oC. So imagine how much the Maasai must have been just a bit fresh in his little "dress", standing at 07:30 on set, ready to shoot. But he wasn´t only playing the brave African warrior, without complaining, without wanting a blanket, jacket or hot drink, he stood still, barefoot and straight-faced in front of the camera. Even the three cows next to him didn´t bother him. And if you ever have seen one of these cows close up, you´ll know what I´m talking about. It is a very huge animal. I wouldn´t say I was afraid of the cows, but I would rather call it having respect. So I tried to cross their path as little as possible.

Around midday we were ready to shoot the Eskimo take. The sun pumped up the temperature to 23 degrees; The costume: an original Eskimo coat and boots made of real fur and leather. What was freezing cold for his colleague in the morning was a sauna-like heat for the Chinese actor.

The poor guy was sitting on the sled, surrounded by 4 Huskies, cuddling up to him in the luminous sun for hours. But, as professional as our actors are, he did a fantastic job, hiding his hot flushes and keeping on smiling. And with lots of water and goodies, even our Siberian four legged extras sailed through the shoot day.

At the end of the day, all departments proved again how good they know their jobs and how easy a challenging request can be. Thanks to you guys! And thanks to the Spanish Policia Local, that kindly closed streets for us the whole day!

I´m just curious about our future requests, because up to now, we made everything that looked impossible -at the first view- possible...