Shooting in Havana

As mojitos flow in dusky bars and streets brim with salsa beats, art directors Mark Goodwin and Grant Parker touch down in Cuba’s pulsating capital to take on Havana Club’s latest campaign… 

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Cigars? Taxi? Chicas?

Grant and I have been in Cuba for 10 days and can confirm that, for once, the endline isn’t lying: nothing compares to Havana. Complex, beautiful, happy, tragic Havana. A city like no other.

In our short stay we’ve shot over 10,000 images, four doco-style content films, countless five-second shorts and one TVC.

It would be disingenuous to say it’s been easy working here. From torrential downpours that turned dry, dusty streets into quagmires, to the ever-present problem of no internet. Equipment, while good, was scarce (at one point we had all the lights in Cuba).


But, at risk of being as clichéd as a cigar-smoking old lady, the people were amazing. Extras that waited for hours, then danced their hearts out, barmen who could actually act, and a complete absence of some of the more tedious production processes: see someone interesting and five minutes later they’re in front of the camera. Want to shoot from a balcony? Just knock on the door and, providing it will hold your weight, you’re on.

So thank you Havana for providing us with such a fine backdrop and cast. And now, as we prepare to leave, we can’t help but feel a pang of melancholy. But, as that great Austrian philosopher Arnie said, ‘hasta la vista, baby’.

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*For more information on Havana Club, visit