Marks & Spencer’s Shoot Almeria

Thursday May 29, 2014

At the beginning of April, we received a request for a photo-shoot and “making-of” for M&S, the brief asked for western style locations, desert and a number of classic props, motorbikes, 4×4 jeeps, a light plane and similar.


Our props dep´t went to work locating classic British and American motorcycles and off road vehicles in the region. They soon came up with a number of excellent options, all in good running order and even a scrapped light plane! It was vital to the budget not to have to transport picture cars etc from other regions unless absolutely necessary.


So we fired the location and props pictures off to the UK production company The Production Factory London ( btw thanks Anthony) for feedback and in the meantime applied for the relevant permits and penciled our crew, facility vehicles and hotel


A few weeks later the job was signed off and we confirmed everything, the only problem was that shoot dates were two days before a major bank holiday so reserving vehicles and rooms was quite a task was quite a task.


However, luckily our favourite production-friendly hotel the “Sotillo” in San Jose, Almeria had managed to hold all its rooms for us.

This was great news as the hotel has secure parking for trucks, large rooms and is 5 min’s walk from town. It also has some great locations on its property and has been used in many spaghetti westerns.


Production travelled up on the Friday and all was set for us to shoot Monday and Tuesday in the old Sergio Leone western town. We had booked the location exclusively for our shoot and had the entire place to ourselves.

At 05:45 on Monday the unit rolled out of San Jose for the 45 minute drive to the Tabernas desert.

Shooting commenced at 07:30, and alternating the stills camera with the Epic we shot right through the day.


The last shots of the day were taken back at the hotel on a wonderful reed covered hillside at sunset.


Day two followed suite much the same but with a little more urgency as our model had a midday pickup for her flight to London and we needed to shoot a great deal of material.

The crew wrapped at lunchtime after doing some pick-ups, cleaned the gear, and we sent most of the local crew home to unload and do returns, thus saving some rental fees.


Wednesday started very early with airport runs to both Almeria and Malaga for clients and UK crew.

It finished back at Santa Monica Productions with cleaning, checking, packing away the kit and then that favorite chore “accounts”!