The new Visit Wales TV was shot in an epic location, with an amazing actor, and a supporting cast of legendary names from Welsh folklore and history. So how did we do it? Here are 10 facts from behind the camera.
Llyn Llydaw, Snowdonia
The advert was filmed over two days in December 2016, the only slot available in Luke’s tight schedule. The crew deliberately chose a location above the treeline, so that the landscape wasn’t obviously wintery. The Welsh weather was less easy to plan around. As it turned out, Day 1 was a glorious day of perfect cobalt-blue skies. On the morning of Day 2, a thick mist descended. ‘You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,’ says creative director Dylan Griffith. ‘We had mountain guides looking after us, and they know everything about the weather systems. One told me, “Don’t worry, you’ll have a window of an hour-and-a-half.” And sure enough, the mist cleared and we had a few hours before we lost the sun behind Y Lliwedd – just long enough to pull it off.’
See that bit where a distant ‘Luke Evans’ walks across the causeway? That’s actually a body double, the actor Rhodri Miles. Rhodri was drafted in to make sure the crew could be certain of capturing all the wide shots they needed, on a perilously tight schedule. Rhodri, incidentally, is a fine actor in his own right. He’s appeared in epics like Atlantis and Game of Thrones, and in 2017 is touring the UK in a one-man show about Richard Burton.
Llyn Llydaw, Snowdonia
All the principal crew were drawn from a rich pool of talent in the Welsh TV and film industry. The director Marc Evans (Resurrection Man, House of America, Hinterland) oversaw the location filming; cinematographer Luke Jacobs is a veteran of music videos and TV ads; the rest of the crew have worked on countless BBC Wales projects including Sherlock, Doctor Who, Torchwood and Casualty.
In the past, our TV ads have used real people in beautiful locations. But bringing legendary stories to life presents a different challenge: basically, how not to be cheesy. The answer lies in cutting-edge computer-generated graphics, which were used to create slightly abstract, but very modern depictions of images from our past. Motion graphics allow Luke Evans to summon up a hail of slate arrows, murmurations of magical birds, and eruptions of water – without breaking his stride.
The ‘Legends’ campaign is a continuation of the ‘Epic’ theme that ran through our 2016 Year of Adventure. So it made sense to use music that was specially written for ‘Epic’ by the composer John Hardy. But this year John’s musical palate has been handed over to Wevie, a music and sound design studio, who’ve given it a thoroughly modern reimagining.