After an initial contact and brief in late August, we commenced location scouting in early September the beautiful city of Cadiz, (the oldest constantly inhabited city in Europe).
The script was written about the members of staff of the German embassy in Tunis and the intrigue occurring while they were hostages of terrorists there.
Due to the constant and very real radical threat for foreign crews shooting in Muslim countries most producers prefer to opt for a safer option.
The Moors have influenced much of the Andalucian architecture and this has attracted films that need this kind of feel. Cadiz is very suitable for this as Tunis has a lake on either side of the city and Cadiz is almost surrounded by water.
Some of the locations were quite specific, a jail, a government palace, an embassy with Islamic architecture, a modern hotel, a “medina” style street market.
Some were more general, dirt tracks with water in the background, Tunisian type street cafes, semi-complete apartment blocks.
After scouting finished we had all these and more, but would need to travel outside of the city for some, shooting would commence on the 9th of November, so preparation and permit time was quite short.
The producer, Director, and heads of department flew into Seville in the second week of October for the technical recce and to re-check locations over the next three days.
Once all was confirmed then we could lock off the locations, prep permits and start a shooting schedule. The toughest location would be the building chosen as the German Embassy.
It is the old hospital building built on the seafront in the 1920`s and has recently been converted to the Faculty of Business Sciences. The building stands on the main road circling the city and for the siege scenes we needed to completely cut the road for four hours a day over a weekend.
After long and serious negociation with the Cadiz town hall, police, bus-company etc an agreement was reached.
Production crew began arriving at the end of October, and shooting commenced on the 11th of November.
Locations included the Castillo de San Sebastian as a jail and arab café, the Casino de Cadiz as a café, the new Parador del Atlantico Cadiz, the Faculty of Economic Sciences as the German embassy and scene of a siege by anti-terrorist special forces.
Locations outside the city included San Fernando beaches, Conils street scenes, The zona franca (old warehouses) and the stunning Palace at the Royal Equestrian School of Jerez.
We wrapped successfully on 21st November without one rainy day and the foreign crew travelled back to Berlin to shoot all the interior scenes.