VW films in the Algarve .jpg

VW films in the Algarve

By: Ruth Sharpe

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CARVOEIRO BEACHFRONT morphed into an Italian village this week for the filming of the latest Volkswagen advert.

The focus of the shoot was an old 60s Volkswagen campervan and a Volkswagen Polo, which were being used to promote the Volkswagen range.

The German company is one of the largest car producers in the world and chose Carvoeiro from several proposed locations as the beachfront could easily reflect the Italian nature that Volkswagen wanted to create for the commercial.

The advert follows character, Gino Gelato, an Italian who sells ice cream on a motor cart. He is forced to undercut his prices from 2.50 euros to 20 cents when he spots an old VW van, which he thinks is selling ice cream for only 50 cents.

Once he has cut his prices, the Italian gets an onslaught of customers, but soon realises, to his dismay, that the VW van is actually just a recreational vehicle belonging to Dutch tourists and there was no need for the price cut.

Filming began in Carvoeiro on March 5, and took place over two days on Rua do Paraiso and Rua da Nossa Senhora da Encamação, the two winding uphill streets that line the cliffs of Carvoeiro beach and the Largo da Praia on the sea front.

After spending the first day shooting minor scenes, the job for day two was to transform the square that fronts Praia do Carvoeiro into an Italian village.

This involved positioning plants, lighting, decorations, signs and boats around the square. The GNR were also present to control the traffic and stop onlookers from infringing upon the shoot.

Lagos-based company Soul Kitchen Productions was responsible for shooting the advert. Production manager, Bill Hanks said: “It’s never an easy process, but the Volkswagen team has been great to work with so no major problems have arisen.”

He spoke of the Algarve as a popular filming location due to the natural light and unique geography of the region.

The area was mostly shut off to the public for the day and was instead filled with 30 extras, posing as Italian-esque holiday makers and more than 40 members of staff from Soul Kitchen and Volkswagen.

The extras were sourced from Algarve casting company, Red Hat, managed by Kate Harris and Kate Gurnett.

They selected 30 members of the Algarve community who dressed in their summer clothes and spent the day milling around posing as tourists.

The camera presence caused a stir among residents and tourists, who crowded around to see what was going on. The light green VW campervan, a collector’s item in Europe, was also subject to a lot of admiration. This is one of several high profile jobs Soul Kitchen Productions have completed in recent weeks and the job encompassed about six weeks work for the team, who have had to source out the right props, equipment and staff to reflect the needs of Volkswagen.

The advert will be broadcast in Holland later this year and, if met with success, will then be shown throughout Europe.

Visit www.soulkitchen.info for more information.

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