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Highway One from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Photo: Shutterstock
Highway One from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Photo: Shutterstock

Aviation

Cruising down the California Coast

When SAS filmed a new commercial in California in November, nothing was left to chance. From 5am Monday at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to sunset on Friday in Los Angeles, there was a -minute-by-minute schedule for every moment of every day.

Sas’s new commercial is a continuation of the “We are travelers” advertising concept based on the fact that Scandinavia’s most experienced travelers fly with SAS. For frequent flyers, the “true travelers”, travel means a lot more than getting from point A to point B – and they expect their airline to be on top of their game as well.

The commercial called “I Miss You”, features a couple that makes a road trip down California’s fabled Highway 1 to reunite with their daughter in Los Angeles.
“We wanted to portray a real road trip with epic scenery, as well as get close to the characters and experience the journey through their eyes,” says Maria Wästlund, Head of Marketing Programs at SAS.

The commercial is part of SAS’s launch of three new US destinations in 2016 – Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami – as well as the introduction of an innovative feature in the SAS app for SAS EuroBonus members. Los Angeles, as a dream distination, was an obvious location choice. And interestingly, Los Angeles’ airport, is the most checked in place on Facebook.
“The new Remap in the SAS app enables users to create their own travel maps, with their own favorite places, which they can then share with their friends,” Wästlund says. “This is a function we think true travelers will appreciate.”

During an intense week, a tight production team, led by director Tobias Granström and producer Olle Lindgren from Acne, traveled the 600km along the Pacific coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a camera crew, two actors, the script’s Danish creators, and representatives from the ad agency and the production company.

It was a wild week of filming from dusk to dawn, chasing sunsets as well as featuring famous sites and some well-kept secrets along the road.

The Team.

The convoy drove a 1972 Oldsmobile, with the actors at the wheel.
“We just had to have a classic American car for this road trip,” Granström says. “But there were definitely challenges, since it didn’t always want to start when we wanted it to in the morning.”

The cameraman and the director often sat in the back seat of the lead car, followed by cars with the camera equipment, and a mobile home for wardrobe. The production team followed what was being filmed through a monitor in one of the cars and they communicated through walkie--talkies while on the road.
“What made this film shoot unique was that the team actually did everything you see in the movie in a chronological order,” Granström says.

Filming in the US is known to be a rather complex affair due to stict rules and regulations. But the small and flexible production team made it happen.

Temperatures could drop as low as 9C in the mornings, and then rise to 20C by afternoon. This meant that in the morning the crew had to wear just about everything they had packed to stay warm, but after lunch only shorts and flip-flops were needed.

The team filmed a total of eight hours of material. Granström says the hardest part was cutting it down to 90 seconds. The real magic took place in the editing room, where it was crucial to find the right balance between the beautiful scenery, the specific sights along the way, and the story about the parents who made the road trip.

The only destination that wasn’t originally a part of the schedule was the final evening’s spontaneous visit to the Derby Dolls roller derby competition in Los Angeles – a tough sport featuring women on roller skates.

By Sofia Zetterman

Follow in the footsteps of the film team along the coastline on the app or on this map »

Watch the commercial below:

Last edited: November 9, 2017

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