Director Kim Geldenhuys of Egg is no stranger to exotic location shoots and his
latest commercial for Nedbank Private Wealth took him to a kasbah in Morocco
where the major mode of transport is still the donkey cart.
Ait Benhaddou is a Unesco World Heritage Site; the people living in the kasbah
do not use electricity and one cannot help but feel transported in time within its
Geldenhuys’ brief from ad agency, M&C Saatchi Abel, was to find a setting that
was timeless and would support a simple tale. The commercial recounts the fable
of a father giving each of his two sons a coin and asking them to fill a room with
what they buy.
“I’ve always believed it’s the people we learn from as boys that make us who
we are as men,’ recounts the voice representing the younger boy and we are
drawn along each boy’s search. The elder boy attempts to fill the room with hay,
the younger, more curious boy, fills it with light from a single candle.
Egg took a small unit of key crew along to Morocco and the majority of crew
hailed from Casablanca – where the big production houses are located – and
Marrakech. The shooting took place in a remote area and everything had to be
transported over the Atlas Mountains by road, a long and difficult journey.
Shooting in any foreign location means a certain amount of adjustment for the
“Morocco is culturally quite different so their approach to everything is very
different,’ explains producer Dagny Warmerdam. “For example, negotiating a
location isn’t just about speaking to the owner, the entire community has to be
considered and involved in the process. It requires many meetings which is a
Geldenhuys’ approach was to work with local talent and, for the most part, non-
actors, a challenging aspect since neither of the boys understood English. But
with the coaching and guidance of a Moroccan actress enlisted as a translator
and acting coach, this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the
process for Geldenhuys and the team, as well as a chance to scout new
locations and learn to understand another culture.