No added salt – UTV shoot
There’s nothing easy about filming in the desert. You’re shooting under harsh conditions, dealing with an unpredictable and unforgiving climate, worrying about the unlikely but still terrifying idea of Sandworms, all while trying to harness the grandeur of Morocco or Tunisia or the Bonneville Salt Flats. If you’re anything like me you grew up dreaming of the sands of Tattooine from Star Wars. But where does Kineto fit in? I’m glad you asked, because that’s our topic for today.
Like all good adventure stories, this one spans the globe. In India there is a little company called United Television, or UTV. Based out of Mumbai.
Earlier this year UTV needed a new logo piece for their television and movie releases. UTV wanted to film their new station identity piece on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. You may have seen the Salt Flats in the films Independence Day, The World’s Fastest Indian, Pirate’s of the Caribbean: At World’s End, or in various American television commercials.
Enter Kineto Pictures. The Producer – Razorblade Productions found Kineto through an internet search and was impressed by their ability to quickly assemble a team and make all the needed arrangements for the production, obtaining permits, scouting the location and figuring out the best time of year to shoot. After a month of Skyping at 2AM with India, it was time to shoot!
It was a truly international production. Crew from UTV came to Utah, including producer Christopher Wagner, director Prashant Maden and DP Ayananka Bose, and a special effects team from China, Cecil Cheng and Ma Wing On (known stateside for their work on the cult classic Kung Fu Hustle).
Everyone got along great, Damian Dayton called it “one of the most upbeat and stress-free shoots I have ever worked.”
He went on to describe how fun it was to work with talented people from such a different culture.
Dancers for the piece were brought in from New York and Los Angeles, with choreography by Josie Walsh. They spent two days rehearsing every move.
Local artists decorated the dancers with Henna tattoos and Indian jewelry.
Of course shooting on the salt caused some logistical problems, but nothing that Kineto couldn’t handle. Kineto set up a mobile production office command unit complete with kitchen.
GPS is a necessary tool on the Salt Flats. When there are no landmarks it’s easy to get lost, and even though the Salt Flats are, well, flat, the basecamp could be hidden just beyond the horizon thanks to the curvature of the earth. It’s truly an environment unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
So how did it turn out?
A collaboration between some very different cultures, art and commerce. Thanks to our friends from Razorblade and UTV for making this such an enjoyable shoot! Hopefully the future will bring another collaboration between Kineto and India, but in the mean time.. salt anyone?