Hyundai car shoot for Korea lights up LaSalle St.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Turbo

A rugged Chicago and Korean production crew braved the freezing cold last Monday and Tuesday nights to work on a massive commercial shoot in the heart of the Loop for a 2015 Hyundai Sonata Turbo that was flown here especially from Korea for the shoot.

The crew was comprised of 36 Chicagoans – 25 of them from Local 476 Studio Mechanics who operated the huge array of lighting  — and seven Korean-Americans from production company Duo Films of Los Angeles, specialists in car commercials for broadcast in Korea and other Asian markets.

They worked overnight shooting the mid-sized Sonata with a turbo charged engine as drove down winter-black LaSalle Street, stretching south from Randolph St. to the Board of Trade on Adams, an urban canyon of skyscrapers that represented big cities around the world.

The street was illuminated by a convoy of 80-ft. Condor aerial lift cranes, with grip and electric equipment provided by Essanay Studio & Lighting, while the action was captured by cameras on the ground, on rooftops and on Russian arm remote camera cranes.  

The Dow Films crew was augmented by members of Hyundai’s Innocean Worldwide ad agency from Seoul, Korea, and accompanied by a representative from their client.

Dow Films is not a stranger to the city. It has shot here approximately once a year over the past eight years for the best of reasons.  “The client requests it,” says LA-based Duo Film line producer Jin Moon Yoo.

He is familiar with the city, having worked on car spots here before and calls Chicago “a film friendly city with a very scenic downtown.”

He adds with a smile, “We shoot heavily in LA and get tired of West Coast scenery.”

Dow Films’ appreciation for Chicago locations is not unique to them, notes the Chicago Film Office’s Rich Moskal. “Many car commercial producers gravitate here to shoot because they like that our downtown epitomizes a big American city.”

Location manager Maria Roxas is also a favorite of the production company, says Yoo, “because she always makes it happen,” in terms of the most suitable locations that best displays the product’s features.

Yoo was part of the 15-man, LA Korean-American contingent that included the director, EP, DP, first AD, first camera assistant, gaffer, production manager, visual effects artist. Also on the shoot from Seoul were Innocean’s creative director, account executive and two production assistants accompanied by two Hyundai clients.