Cheil and Firecracker Re-imagine the ‘Stopover’ for Etihad with Ricky Wilson
Posted on April 24, 2017

Today sees the launch of ‘The Abu Dhabi 48-Hour Stopover Challenge’, Etihad’s latest online film in which Kaiser Chiefs’ front man, Ricky Wilson, races against the clock to experience as much of Abu Dhabi as he can within 48 hours.

From dune buggy racing to falconry to riding the fastest rollercoaster in the world to ordering takeaway black truffle pizza, the film, created by Cheil London in partnership with production company Firecracker, is a whirlwind showcase of Abu Dhabi as a multi-faceted, must-visit destination rather than simply a stopover.

The 3’30” film was filmed over the course of 48 hours by the team at Firecracker, making the challenge a reality.

“The brand and agency were really keen to do this challenge for real,” explains director Sam Wrench. “We wanted to pull from the natural energy that comes from a challenge and give the film the feel of a TV programme as opposed to a storyboarded commercial. This meant we used a limited script and the presenter was a key factor. Ricky ended up bringing so much to the table in terms of his energy and natural talent.”

With so many activities to cram into a tight time frame, the shoot required meticulous planning on behalf of the production team. 

“Getting the whole crew between 24 locations in 48 hours was the biggest challenge of this project,” comments Executive Producer at Firecracker, Claire Finn, “so we spent a lot of time in pre-production ensuring everything would run as smoothly as possible given the open nature of the script. Given our experience in making TV shows as well as commercials, we are well used to fast-paced shoots and documentary filmmaking that follows the flow of events as they unfold.”



Agency: Cheil London

Client: Etihad Airways

Production Company: Firecracker Films
Executive Producer: Claire Finn
Producer: Adam Lyne
Director: Sam Wrench
DOP: Benedict Spence