Hennessy campaign from Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott and RSA Films used Prague stages and locations for an epic new promotional campaign for cognac brand Hennessy X.O.
Four-minute short film The Seven Worlds was developed in close co-ordination with Scott’s company RSA Films. MPC provided the visual effects to help produce glossy, science-fiction genre tropes and other-worldly settings to convey a series of ‘flavour profiles’ for the Hennessy brand.
Some of the shoot’s costume fittings and make-up tests were carried out in London before the production travelled to Prague for a four-day shoot.
RSA worked with Stillking Films in the Czech Republic and spent three of the shoot days on stages at Prague Studios.
Several weeks of set-building ahead of the shoot involved constructing a cave location where engineers are seen extracting an amber-like syrup from subterranean rocks. Separately, a spacecraft rig was mounted on a gimbal for shots depicting two pilots observing a fiery alien landscape.
“I would say that the main challenges were definitely set construction and model-making, which was pulled together by UK production designer Marc Homes and Czech production designer Martin Krejzlik, and his hardworking team,” Stillking's Lida Ordnungova tells The Knowledge.
“We were building over a month on both stages prior to the shoot and the results are amazing," Ordnungova says. "The talent came from the UK and other parts were cast in Prague.”
The production team only ventured outside the studio setting for a part of the campaign set in a lush green forest where swirling leaves briefly take human form before morphing into a tree.
“We had been scouting in Prague but also in oak forests up to two hours away from Prague,” says Ordnungova. “As Prague also has quite a few forests, in the end we found a great location in Hvezda Game Reserve, which had oak trees.”
Hvezda is a protected park situated less than four miles from the centre of Prague.
The Czech capital is a hugely popular European production hub. Prague Studios offers six stages and has recently hosted historical UK drama Britannia, as well as Netflix anthology series Haunted.
Prague faces stiff regional competition from nearby Budapest, where indeed Ridley Scott has filmed extensively, as director of sci-fi hit The Martian, and as a producer on drama series The Terror and on Blade Runner 2049.
Images courtesy of Stillking
Also on The Knowledge
A new TV adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula story has started filming for the BBC and Netflix, with Danish actor Claes Bang in the title role.
An ITV adaptation of Jane Austen’s final story Sanditon will shoot on sets built at The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol.
Shepperton Studios has secured local planning permission to carry out its £500m expansion that will involve developing new stages and office space.
A movie based on the classic Tom and Jerry cartoon characters will be filmed in the UK this summer.
Survival story Horizon Line is set to film scenes at Pinewood Studios, and will also shoot on location in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and in Dublin.
A second series of the BBC’s high-end TV adaptation of fantasy saga His Dark Materials will start filming in Wales this summer.