Stains, Screams and Stunts


When we first heard about this project my first thought was "Damn it!  I really want to do that, it´s such a funny story!"

When the green light was given for Tenerife, I was very excited and looking forward to getting to grips with the complexities it offered.

Story:  Whilst reading the product label our hero husband expresses his disbelief that any one person could have 20 different stains to remove…. at this very moment he slips on a skateboard and his involuntary fun-filled ride begins; crashing into every thinkable stain situation, getting dirty and ending with a nosedive into a flowerbed. Having covered himself with an impressive range of difficult stains the follow up is the effective removal of that marvellous mucky collection.

Although a very amusing scenario, as always, it meant a lot to do for each department, especially casting and art.

To begin with, the art department – the vegetable delivery pick-up, an elegant boutique window, the romantic city park café, a typical greasy burger bar, a messy mechanic’s workshop and an ornamental fountain and flowerbed – all six sets needed to be located, propped, or constructed and of course the numerous stained shirts for each situation needed to be prepared.

For our art department the most creative part of the work was to make the perfect stains. A challenge but also who secretly wouldn´t want the opportunity to regress to childhood getting mucky and soiling 40 brand new light blue shirts with frothy coffee, ripe tomatoes, thick mustard, slimy motor oil, greasy hamburgers, sticky ice cream, cherry cheese cake, melted chocolate, earth, grass etc.?

With the hero husband already chosen, our Casting department’s assignment was finding his ideal wife and northern European, humorous characters as featured extras from skateboarding youngsters, Mr and Mrs Average and beefy mechanics, to a sweet granny with her cute little dog.

The dog casting produced a great range of pretty pooches, all with their own personal talents, it was a fun morning with our offices filled with excited four legged rising stars.

The two day shoot was planned just one week before Christmas. Locations: all right in the city centre of Tenerife's capital Santa Cruz!

Even though we have spring weather all the time, it doesn´t mean we let Christmas pass by and colourful light decorations, the typical Christmas plants with red and white leaves were planted everywhere and Christmas markets made our work even more demanding. Challenges being one of our specialities, a solution was found for all, we even managed to bed out the poinsettias for the shoot. (Of course, gardening gloves at the ready, we ensured they were carefully replanted afterwards.)

The first shoot day started with the desperate screams of our hero echoing throughout the streets of Santa Cruz turning many heads to look out for the source of apparent anguish – their expressions however turned quickly from fear and worry to smiles and laughter as the passers by saw the real situation unfolding in front of them….

Technically, one of our Arri Alexa Plus cameras captured the main views but also the skateboard was fitted with a GoPro camera to pick out some really street level angles.

With various locations a day chasing the skateboard all over the town, on the recce we came up with our “Magic wagon” idea and decided to quickly build it, in order to shorten time during location moves and achieving more flexibility in following, tracking and imitating the skateboarders moves even on longer distances with uneven surfaces like cobble stones.

Throughout the shoot the whole cast put their very best efforts into screaming at the top of their lungs as if they were genuinely about to be bumped into by this wild-wheeled maniac. Our tomato seller hollered, granny gasped in horror, the mechanics growled in disbelief, the waiter wailed and the burger buyer yelled, even the dog yelped! At times it was hard, as you can imagine, not just to burst into real belly laughter.

Thank you Markenfilm for bringing us such a fun project to finish off this great year!