Smiirl in LONDON
Another city starting with an “L”, but for a completely different matter. Set & Action !
Last Week, we were in London to supervise a video shoot we had dealt with Universal TV Media . The purpose was to shoot a video that would be broadcast on Euronews, the biggest News Channel in Europe. So you can guess how excited we were! Our lil counters would (once again) make an appearance on TV, but this time in a commercial format. This deal was settled by Simon (our CMO) and implied that two members of our team had to attend to the video shoot in order to make sure that everything went well
(and that our counter didn’t get molested or destroyed by the team). So here we went, Gauthier (our CEO) and I, to the land of Elizabeth II and Sir Alex Ferguson for the greatest video of all time (kinda)!
DAY #-1 : Shaky Shaky Plane & Soho Chinatown
Since the first shooting was planned at 7:30am on Friday, we definitely had to leave Paris on Thursday. To the Charles de Gaulle Airport! Our Flybe plane left the French capital at 4:40pm, and the less we can say is that this was a bumpy ride… Crazy gusts stroke the plane during the flight, and let’s just say that some people couldn’t really handle them. We landed, safe and sound, in London City Airport around 5:10pm and took a taxi (which are, btw, way classier than in Paris) in the direction of Soho, Chinatown, to check in our Air BnB. For that matter, we’ll just say that some people seem way better in photography skills than in telling the truth about their apartment ;). Anyway, the time we had left allowed us to get prepared for the following day video shoot and to grab a nice and clean burger at Shake Shack. Happy and full, we went for a walk around Leicester’s Square and grabbed a bear at O’Neils before going back to our good ol’ Air Bnb for a peaceful (well if you don’t count the sirens and party noises that shattered our windows…) night. Alarm clocks set at 6:30am, good night, sleep tight.
DAY #1 : Ruffians Barber & Look Mum No Hands
Our first location was Ruffians Barber, a super classy barber shop in the middle of Marylebone. The occasion for us to meet with the production team : Ovidiu (Production Director), Normen (Director of Photography), Simon (Gaffer, Camera, Lights), Irina (Production Assistant),the make-up artists (Alexia & Emma), the cast and the extras. Concerning the cast, we had the pleasure to meet Liam Gooding, actor, writer and above all else, Modern Viking. Don’t hesitate to check about him if you’re curious enough! Anyways, this shoot was pretty cool, Ruffians Barber being such a well-designed shop with smooth lights and homemade products everywhere. Basically, the shots consisted in close-ups of the counter moving its flaps, interviews of Liam who was playing the shop owner, a client being shaved (that was faked, of course) and every shot that could show the decoration of the store. The idea was to show the typical environment where you can place our counter, and the interviews were there to highlight the benefits of having a Smiirl counter in a local business. I even had the chance to play as an extra (for 2 seconds) in the background of a shot. 15 minutes of glory Andy? More like 2 seconds of glory.
Our second location of the day was Look Mum No Hands, a coffee shop mixed with a bicycle workshop in Old Street. A rather crowded place with very sympathetic owners. The place was perfect to gather some really nice filling clips, because the coffee shop has been designed to look like a bicycle store. This time, the shop owner was played by …, and as for Ruffians, the shots consisted in interviews, filling clips, and flapping counters. Only downside to this shooting session : so.much.people. The reason is obvious, the shooting session at LMNH was set between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, and that’s pretty much lunchtime for everyone. But it allowed us to take advantage of this schedule to eat there. And GOSH, the burgers were freaking nasty!
After this very cool day of shooting, we decided to play tourists for a long walk around Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, St James Park and Piccadilly Circus. With, at the end, a nice piece of meat (and a couple beers) at Angus Steakhouse. Day #1, over.
DAY #2 : Rosas Thai & Parlour Skate Store
Our second day of shooting started at Rosas Thai Cafe at 8:00 am. Same team, except for the cast, of course, with the arrival of Sureni as the coffee shop owner. The conditions were perfect, because we started early in the morning so we couldn’t be bothered by clients or passers by. And plus, we were welcomed by Punky who perfectly knew our product (Rosas has had its own for a while) and we talked a lot about business possibilities in the U.K., and in Asia. Exchanging with our customers allows us to share our point of view about how we could expand our brand even further, and this experience in London confirmed what we already knew : going to see our clients directly is 100% more beneficial. Clean clips & interesting exchanges, that’s what we can remember from our shooting at Rosas’.
We left Rosas’ around 11:30 am and went straight to our 4th and final location : Parlour Skate Store. A 30 minutes Uber drive gave us the time to slack off a little (screw you Air BnB and your single glazing…). At noon inside Parlour Skate Store, we were welcomed by a very peculiar owner : a 2-year-old pitbull. Very cuddly, he couldn’t keep itself from moaning every 5 minutes if nobody took care of it. So, for the interview part, it was a liiiiiiiiittle annoying. But nothing too bad, we recorder everything we needed in 2 hours and said goodbye to Gauthier, whose plane was planned at 17:30 at London Gatwick Airport (70£ Uber, F*ck yeah). I stayed a bit longer with the production team and had lunch with them in a super cute restaurant located right next to Parlour Skate Store, Cafe 12.
This experience was really enriching, and we can’t wait to show you guys the final product. Make sure to follow our news on social networks, we’ll tell you when our spot gets broadcast on Euronews !
I’m out 😉