Does traveling make the world feel smaller to you? It does for me, connecting me to people and places more than ever before. Many of the writers on Alvinology.com like Jeremy Xu, Alex Liang, Alvina Soh and Katherine Goh are very widely travelled. I am sure they will agree with this sentiment.
Airbnb, the world’s leading community driven hospitality company, has recreated this feeling through an amazingly beautiful video, taking viewers on a train ride full of surprises:
The video is as real and unique as a stay in one of Airbnb’s global listings; It was shot in a single take, without any computer generated imagery. Rare, when special effects seem so commonplace these days.
For the production, 30 people spent five weeks building the 85 square metre train set, the centerpiece for the story. More than 2400 craftsmen hours were spent creating a landscape out of 20 square metres of plywood, 12 litres of glue and more than 160 sheets of poly board. All with one goal: to help a wider audience understand Airbnb.
“As you board the train in this film, you’re transported into a magical world that represents the very heart of Airbnb,” said Jonathan Mildenhall, Airbnb’s Chief Marketing Officer.
“As you wind your way through some of the amazing listings Airbnb has to offer, you get a different perspective on the world. With each viewing, you see something unique and interesting that you didn’t notice before, mirroring the experience that many people have when they travel with Airbnb.”
Some fun facts behind-the-scene: the entire video was shot in a 40 x 40 metre warehouse in Auckland, New Zealand. The castle was 3D printed and then meticulously hand painted, brick by brick. Miniature modellers and model painters created more than 100 unique trees, over 60 hand-cut horses and 240 tailor-made miniature flowers, grasses and shrubs. A total of 96 figures were made, including 6 miniatures of real Airbnb guests and 2 dogs, while 18 tables were used to raise the full length train track.
The video featured seven different lighting environments, all happening ‘live’ at the same time. On the day of the shoot, 85 attempts were made to shoot the whole film, which is just one take – there were plenty more rehearsals. Imagine how relieved the team must be when they are done with that one perfect take!