Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

The opening lines narrating our latest spot for Coca-Cola, The Great Meal, capture the relevance of this very question. “The day the world stopped was the day we found where to go.” Directed by Kim Gehrig and Somesuch, and produced by Magali Sagarra and Lee Groombridge, the 90-second spot marked our first job following the start of the pandemic.

“Lost together, we discovered ourselves again, and we realized that the things that matter deserve time.” Our experience returning to production under the health crisis mirrored this exact sentiment. Although coordination for this shoot took twice as long under the new, tightened circumstances, it felt amazing to be back in action, solving creative problems, doing what we love.

The ad depicts 12 families from across the globe managing the same contagion-fueled uncertainties with the same comforts of at-home togetherness. As the first spot released in the ongoing Together Tastes Better campaign, the sharing of a meal (accompanied by a Coca-Cola) is illustrated as the great equalizer during this unprecedented moment.

“The amazing thing about this is that these were real families, filmed within their homes, from London to Lisbon, Kiev to Florida, Shanghai to our home in Mexico City,” Magali said. Casting and arranging these shoots, most of which were indoors, in homes across the world no less, produced many technical challenges that were complicated tenfold by the newly mandated safety guidelines. For example, protocols cap crews at 30 people, so we had to figure out how to shoot with the same superior standards we are accustomed to, while working remotely and with much smaller crews.

“Our industry thrives on creativity, but beyond that creativity, the safety and health of our team and allies come first. We implemented all of the hygiene protocols and stress tested the remote transmission that we had been working on for the past months, and everything worked flawlessly,” Magali added. “Seeing all the hard work pay off was incredibly rewarding.” Our team went above and beyond to ensure that we delivered excellent work, without risking anyone’s health. “We followed up with every single person who was involved in the project for over 15 days, and the fact that no one reported getting sick attests to how well things were executed.”

Continuing production under the new protocols will inevitably continue to present complications and challenges. However, producing this Coca-Cola spot was an informative experience that was well worth the months of intricate planning and testing. The best lesson we learned is that it can be done! We know for certain that with a good team working together, productions can resume and our creative industry can get back to work.

Watch the spot above and see more of Magali’s work here.