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  • Writer's pictureEmma Thompson

Behind the Scenes: Zara Larsson in Rio de Janeiro, for Sony Headphones

This really was the ultimate, bucket list shoot. Night time filming on Copacabana beach, Zara performing at Circo Voador (a.k.a. Rio's most iconic venue), and ticking off all of those 'postcard' locations that Rio is so famous for.

The Sony MDR-1000x headphones had just dropped, and we wanted to showcase their capabilities in the best way possible. Rio is a noisy place, full of music and beats. It's busy, and a little bit chaos.

Nothing prepared us for the impressive scenery of Rio. It's one of the most photogenic cities I've seen - the trees and mountains are higher still than the tower blocks. We had just 1.5 days to cram as much of this beautiful city into one, epic video, and to attempt to do it justice too.

The night shoot took place on the world famous Copacabana Beach. We had no time for a reshoot of this scene if the heavens had opened on us, but thankfully the weather gods were on our side. So far, so good.

This one is up there in my favourite three locations of all time: an abandoned swimming pool, overhanging the city, aged but still dignified. We found it perched on a hilltop beside a favela. This backdrop made the cut for the opening footage of Zara.

Rio's cultural hub, Lapa, kept on giving. The area is known for having plenty of wall murals, and they made the perfect backdrop.

What you can't see from the photos is the unbearable heat. To put it gently, there were rivers of sweat running from all crew, and plenty a visible sweat patch. Agua? Any more agua?

Yes, shooting in different countries brings additional challenges. Our director had to forgo one of the planned locations because the park ranger needed bribing. It was a learning experience for us all.

I got to work with the absolute dream team on this one.

Shout out to Director Laurence Warder for his unwavering enthusiasm throughout, which trickled through to the rest of the team, and to Sony Headphones for making this shoot possible.

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