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J.A. Bayona and Alejandro Amenábar shot beer commercials

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Two heavyweight Spanish directors, J.A. Bayona and Alejandro Amenábar, shot this summer’s commercials for two different beer brands.


 

J. A. Bayona was internationally acclaimed for his directorial debut The Orphanage (2007), also for manning the gigantic The Impossible (2012), which our new Spidey — Tom Holland — starred in, and for giving the go-ahead to the horror show Penny Dreadful with the first two episodes (that séance scene in episode 2 was incredible). Late last year he was also announced to be in charge of the sequel to World War Z.

Bayona is not exactly new to the advertisement world. In Spain, he’s worked on a commercial for a cleaning product before, turning it into a whole new experience. But now, he was part of an advertising campaign for San Miguel, one of the best known beer brands in the country.

His commercial was shot in Thailand and Spain, with 53 different actors and 254 extras, and finally debuted this week. Kristina Fender, who has worked for BMW, Renault and Hendrick’s campaigns was the director of photography. Essencially, Bayona’s work, titled “Y lo mejor está por llegar” (“And the Best is Yet to Come”), is a proper 1’45’’ long commercial that tells the story of the brand’s 125 years of life. Three famous figures, who were ambassadors for the brand for years, Grace Kelly, Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí are also included via body doubles.

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You can watch it after these lines. If you know Spanish, you’ll enjoy it that much more.

Another side of the coin is Alejandro Amenábar’s take in the commercial making business. Of course, you know Amenábar from the brilliant The Others in 2001 (my favorite role Nicole Kidman has ever played), The Sea Inside (2004), which received an Academy Award in 2005, and Agora (2009). He most recently directed Emma Watson, David Thewlis and Ethan Hawke in Regression, which is set to release in US theaters in August 28.

Amenábar co-wrote and directed this commercial titled “Vale” — which you’ll know what it stands for if you watch it— and it isn’t just that, but it’s also a delightful 12 minute short film. It also debuted this week on television. The commercial stars the one and only Dakota Johnson, of 50 Shades of Grey fame, Quim Gutiérrez, a fairly known Spanish actor, and Natalia Tena, who geeks will recognize both as Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter and Osha in Game of Thrones.

What’s more engaging about this short film in comparison to Bayona’s cinematic commercial is how subtly is the beer brand, Estrella Damm, introduced and then brought to the center of attention. I really think it is a beautiful work. See for yourself (with English subtitles).

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Elisabeth S. Contreras
Film enthusiast and sharer of words. Don't underestimate a woman with an opinion.
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