THE BACKLOT: Commercials, Commercials, Commercials

Behind the scenes on the set of Nine Eleven, in a New York Diner sits Rodric David with a film camera
Thunder Studios CEO Rodric David on NYC diner set.

It was a summer of commercials at Thunder Studios! We were proud to be the venue of choice for productions of a number of the world’s most recognizable brands. Some of the companies Thunder recently hosted include Calvin Klein, Target,, Heineken Beer, one of the world’s largest tech companies (I can’t disclose), and automotive companies including Kia, Toyota, Ford, McLaren, Mini, Honda, and Lexus. We were also delighted to watch the tremendously accomplished entertainers and sports people who were the stars of these commercials.

Headshot of Rodric David in a pin-striped suit
Chairman and CEO of Thunder Studios Rodric David.

Thunder Studios kicked off the summer with a multi-week shoot for The supremely talented Jeff Goldbum starred in the role of the odd, yet charming tech guru character “Brad Bellflower”. Interestingly, the ten ad spots were directed by none other than Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk.

Heineken Light also called Thunder home for several days while filming their latest ad series featuring Neil Patrick Harris on Stage 3. The cheeky series of ads caused a bit of controversy among conservative viewers, but Ralph Rijks, VP-marketing of Heineken USA, said in an interview with Advertising Age “This year’s campaign more than others lets Neil be Neil. These were the most fun to shoot, and his improv skills we think came through perfectly on camera.” I’ll let you be the judge!

In addition, I have to give a big shout out to my great mate and fellow Aussie Robbie Maddison for his work in Kia’s “In the Zone” commercial. The whole series of “Zone” commercials for Kia were shot exclusively at Thunder Studios, and Robbie features alongside LA Clippers basketball star Blake Griffin to promote the Optima midsized sedan. Blake’s wry humor and natural screen presence suggest a career in Hollywood when his NBA playing days are over.

Can’t wait to see what’s slated to be shot at Thunder for the upcoming holiday period and Superbowl LI! Never a dull moment!