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Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production
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M&C Saatchi's Mark Goodwin & Grant Parker on Shooting Havana Club's Latest Campaign

19/08/2014
Advertising Agency
London, UK
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M&C Art directors touch down in Cuba’s pulsating capital

Cigars? Taxi? Chicas?

Grant and I have been in Cuba for 10 days and can confirm that, for once, the endline isn't lying: nothing compares to Havana. Complex, beautiful, happy, tragic Havana. A city like no other.

In our short stay we've shot over 10,000 images, four doco-style content films, countless five-second shorts and one TVC.

It would be disingenuous to say it's been easy working here. From torrential downpours that turned dry, dusty streets into quagmires, to the ever-present problem of no internet. Equipment, while good, was scarce (at one point we had all the lights in Cuba).


But, at risk of being as clichéd as a cigar-smoking old lady, the people were amazing. Extras that waited for hours, then danced their hearts out, barmen who could actually act, and a complete absence of some of the more tedious production processes: see someone interesting and five minutes later they're in front of the camera. Want to shoot from a balcony? Just knock on the door and, providing it will hold your weight, you're on.

So thank you Havana for providing us with such a fine backdrop and cast. And now, as we prepare to leave, we can't help but feel a pang of melancholy. But, as that great Austrian philosopher Arnie said, 'hasta la vista, baby'.


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