OUR FIRST COLLABORATION WITH NETFLIX: CHEF’S TABLE - ALEX ATALA

Netflix’s Chef’s Table is currently in its sixth and possibly last season. Due to its potential ending, we saw it fitting to publish a blog entry about our participation on the show a few years ago. In 2015, Brazil Production Services was contacted by Boardwalk Pictures to produce a Brazilian episode of the groundbreaking show from the creators of Jiro: Dreams of Sushi. The Brazilian episode would focus on chef Alex Atala. We were of course very happy to assist.

 Behind the scenes - Chef Alex Atal fine tunes one of his creations

Behind the scenes - Chef Alex Atal fine tunes one of his creations

Chef Alex Atala is a renaissance man known for his high end culinary fusion, where he combines elements of French haute cuisine with Brazilian ingredients. His São Paulo based restaurant, D.O.M., is one of the only restaurants in Brazil to be honored with two Michelin stars. The episode we shot with him focused on his life, philosophy and followed him on foraging trips to find rare regional ingredients with the help of local natives.

 The chef cutting fish in the Amazon

The chef cutting fish in the Amazon

Some of the special local ingredients that Atala is fond of using on his cuisine are:

Tucupi

A yellow liquid extracted from a specific pressed type of yucca. It’s poisonous and must be boiled for at least 20 minutes so the acid volatilizes. It’s typical to the Amazon region and it’s used to season fish and meat - specially duck.

Priprioca

Another Amazon’s typical root. It was used originally by the cosmetic industry and chef Alex Atala developed an edible essence from it to be used in his dishes.

Jambu

The Jambu (Spilanthes oleracea) is a herb typical to the Amazon area known for causing an electric feel to the tongue.

 Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

The production was shot at different times with two different units: São Paulo and Amazon. First, the crew did the São Paulo region where they shot at Atala’s restaurant and at his house. After that, they followed the chef to nearby locations like Ubatuba and Paraty. The second unit was shot months later deep in the Amazon forest - near the Colombian/Venezuelan border. BPS was responsible for all of the logistics of both production units including boat rentals, crew rentals, equipment rentals and accommodation.

Our production office rented a 9 seater plane in Manaus and coordinated with the local charter company to fly the crew to the remote area of the Alto do Rio Içana (Içana River). And then, BPS arranged with a jungle unit of the Brazilian military for the crew to be picked up and taken by boat to an army base next to Tunuí - where they were housed.

 9 seater plane rented by production to access this very remote region

9 seater plane rented by production to access this very remote region

Close to the base, across the river, is the Baniwa village where production was happening daily. The Baniwan people are a dominant native tribe that lives in the region, they speak their own language and cultivate a type of spicy pepper that Atala uses in some of his dishes.

 The crew and the local soldiers who assisted us making this episode happen

The crew and the local soldiers who assisted us making this episode happen

 An aerial map of the area where production happened in the Amazon Forest

An aerial map of the area where production happened in the Amazon Forest

Production also went to the stop-over town of São Gabriel Cachoeira. The crew was welcomed by members of local Amazon tribes and met their translators.

 A local helping Chef Atala.

A local helping Chef Atala.


Check out the trailer for the season:

Do you have a production that takes place in Brazil and a few other parts in the world? Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to optimize your budget and make it happen for you in Brazil! 

THE INS AND OUTS OF FILMING IN SÃO PAULO: A CASE STUDY

Brazil Production Services (BPS) prides itself in serving clients from many different nationalities who go to Brazil to film all kinds of film, TV and web projects; from the jungle to the beach, we are used to making productions happen in the most adverse of environments!  At first sight, a metropolis like São Paulo can seem less daunting to our foreign clients who come to Brazil to film projects than more remote locations such as the Amazon.  But experience has taught us that this concrete jungle also requires experienced guides to assist our international clients in their shoots. From chaotic traffic to specific permitting bureaus, navigating the ins and outs of São Paulo takes skill and knowledge that BPS has worked hard to acquire. 

Earlier this year, BPS assisted the Swedish production company B-Reel Films in filming the São Paulo unit of their world-wide commercial shoot for the truck brand Scania.  The commercial aimed to showcase some of the most important cosmopolitan hubs of the world and, right in the opening shot of the movie, we see that among these is the majestic urban centers of São Paulo.  As is true of every big city in the world, filming in São Paulo requires juggling a myriad of moving parts, hiring the best local crews, liaising with government authorities and obtaining different kinds of permits and authorizations.  And this is what we did on behalf of B-Reel to pull off a great shoot in São Paulo.

The creative brief that B-Reel brought required shooting at night through empty streets in urban areas of the city.  Finding empty streets in São Paulo took some strategic scheduling and planning, since the city is well know for its traffic jams.  The briefing also required that we hire a camera car for smooth "truck POV' shots.  In a city as modern and as well equipped as São Paulo, it was no problem for BPS to pull this off to achieve all of the moving shots required by our client.  

One of the most important shots of the film was the drive-by at the Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge (also known as the Suspended Bridge, or in Portuguese Ponte Estaiada).  In order to guarantee the shot exactly as the director needed it, BPS acted as a liaison with the São Paulo Film Commission and the city's Traffic Engineering  department to close down the bridge for the shoot. The operation was a success and rendered the opening shot of the commercial. 

In addition to closing the bridge and getting a camera car, BPS also assisted our clients with hiring a  local drone team that could fly an Alexa Mini with primes through the city.  We also sourced other local equipment rentals as well as local crew hires, insurance, planning and managing the shooting schedule, finding and permitting locations, hiring security, and all other production elements.  All in all, we are proud to say, that we obtained great results.

Check out below the results of our efforts, the two finished versions of the commercial campaign, one with São Paulo specific video, as well as the worldwide campaign film.

SÃO PAULO CAMPAIGN

WORLDWIDE CAMPAIGN