Over the course of two days, more than 24 scenes were shot in various locations around Montevideo including Toppers Bar and Grill, Valentino's American Restaurant, Krista Landmark’s Studio, the high school, main street and in residential areas throughout the community. The footage was edited down to a 3 minute video telling a funny story about a young man from a small town in Uruguay who sets out to visit the big city of Montevideo, Uruguay but ends up in Montevideo, Minnesota instead. Other commercials based on this main commercial will be released on broadcast television in Uruguay over the course of the next 7 months, culminating with a Christmas themed ad in December. You can view the commercial online at: https://youtu.be/LN9JavEQvQg
Local volunteer actors who made the final cut in the commerical included included Sammy Larson of Clarkfield, Jeff Mills, Dennis Larson, Patrick Moore, Thomas Gee Hoover, Riley Emery, Nikki Erickson, Kevin Roth -- all of Montevideo, Dana Johnson of Appleton and Brian Dempcy and Adam Conroy of Madison.
Other extras included Kris Gieske of Appleton, Lee Kanten of Ortonville, Lori Larson, Mary Moore and Anna Moore of Montevideo, John Schilik of Willmar, Lauren K. Carlson of Dawson and Bryce Dempcy of Madison
Movistar is a multinational cell phone company with more than 22 million customers in Spain and throughout South America. The commercial will be the major campaign of the year for the company, which has a stronghold of customers in the rural areas of Uruguay. A team of eight Uruguayans spent more than a week in Montevideo, MN planning and executing the shoot. The team included Alejandro Ciancio as the Assistant Director, Gabriel Resala, the Production Manager and Federico Estol as the Production Assistant. The Creative Director for the commercial was Esteban Barreiro of the Publicis Impetu advertising agency. The Director was Oliver Garland. Sebastian Gonzalez, a stand up comedian in Uruguay, performed as the only professional actor in the commercial. Andrés Castro, the president and CEO of Bombay Films, served as Executive Producer and Soledad Suarez represented Movistar as the Brand Manager.
In addition to the Uruguayans, a top notch film crew of more than 7 people led by Twin Cities based Director of Photography, Steven Speers, was hired to actually shoot the commercial. Dana Johnson, Senior Producer of Pioneer Public Television served as the local producer who coordinated all the logistics for the Minnesota crew and made arrangements for the auditions and cast calls.
Before they left Montevideo, Suarez presented the Montevideo Senior High School with a gift of Samsung Oculus Gear Virtual Reality headset and a 360 degree camera. She encouraged the students to make movies about their school to post on the internet to share with their fellow Uruguayan students. “You are living in a movie set here at the high school,” Suarez said. “Use this camera to share your high school and community with the world,” she added.
Last October, Pioneer Public TV sent a three-person production team to Uruguay for 10 days to explore what young people in Uruguay knew or thought about the ongoing 110-year-old exchange between Montevideo, Minnesota and Montevideo, Uruguay The documentary that resulted from that trip “Hello Montevideo” is now available for online viewing at http://www.pioneer.org/hello-montevideo.html.