If we are true to ourselves then the essence of the culture in which we were raised never really leaves us. Love it or hate it, that spirit lives on in our soul and as we move away and grow older, its imprint often powerfully influences our outlook, preferences and choices. Such is the case here. Never forget where you’re from.
Very simple really, never forget where your roots are from. The creative team at BBDO Mexico city come up with this fantastic idea, a directors treat. we see the ‘real’ side of the boxer that has made it big time and yet he’s still down to earth, trains daily in the same gym he grew up in and is surrounded by his life long friends. The ‘treat’ about doing this job was the fact that the filming took place in Mexico city and that’s what attracted me from the start. The character and the locations were fundamental in making this look and feel authentic.
There were two scripts, Boxer and Tatooist. Both had the same concept of their roots. Tatooist is less of a gritty street life story as BOXER but allowed for some amazing local costumes and make up, created by stylist Abril and make up artist Jahel. Below you can find stills from both scripts and all the locations and different characters we used.
Scouting the city, we found this amazing local boxing and wrestling gym ‘Atlas’. We did very little production design to the place as it was already so authentic. The place oozes with authenticity, true Mexican style.
What an amazing crew! Unbelievably willing and always pushing themselves a little bit further. From Ottar my indispensable DOP, full of ideas and energy that keeps everyone going. The creative team led by Erika were constantly pushing me to go a little further… And such an amazing crew, Roberto the production designer did some brilliant work, Abril the stylist, always surprising me. The camera crew, AD’s Elena and Elsa, Jahel makeup…..all fantastic to work with and I shall definitively repeat!
As we dig into their pasts, we enrich these characters shifting those initial impressions toward intrigue and admiration. These snapshots into their real life, affords us touchingly rare moments of ‘inside information’. It offers unique insight that gives them depth and enables us to view them in a dimensional way. Thomas is a featherweight boxer, perfect for the role. He’s from a humble barrio in DF and is the nicest possible guy! It was a pleasure working with him, he really is a natural of course when it comes to ‘being’ the boxer.
The Tatooist wasn’t actually a real tatooist……we faked it!
Once upon a time in Mexico.
Its truly eyeopening each time I shoot in Mexico, never a dull moment but always inspiring. The crews are always extremely cooperative and willing to give some great ideas, very hard working. The hours though, are tough! But its all worth it when the result is as great as it has been on this job. I can’t thank Simon enough, The EP and his company Allison, they all did an amazing job in such a short and challenging time.
Can’t wait to go back ASAP!
Here’s the finished spot, enjoy.