Samba, moonhoppers, zombies – and the Rugby Sevens!

Sevens Wellington campaign shoot – Where Rugby Meets Awesome

The Batucada crew - Where Rugby Meets Awesome - photo by Nigel Sloley

The Batucada crew - Where Rugby Meets Awesome
Photo by Nigel Sloley

One sunny (and icy cold) day in August, Wellington Batucada was invited (in a hush hush secret squirrel kind of a way) to take part in the filming for Where Rugby meets Awesome – the theme behind this year’s Sevens Wellington ticketing campaign and event.

This is how they briefed us:

The campaign is a partnership with The Crowd Goes Wild (CGW) that showcases what Sevens Wellington is all about – the collision of rugby and awesome in a visually entertaining way.

Local rugby club members, Wellington 7’s Coach Scott Waldrom, CGW presenter James McOnie and All Blacks Sevens players (Scott Curry, Sam Dickson and Akira Ioane) will be filmed and photographed playing a new type of sevens rugby – games of rugby merged with other fun activities that reflect the Sevens Wellington brand; fun, vibrant and engaging.

Batucada will be involved in two segments (Rugby Meets Rio and Rugby Meets Awesome). Rugby Meets Rio is a nod to Sevens being an Olympic Sport, debuting at Rio in 2016. Rio is the perfect representation of “awesome” – so we are combining the Latin American flair of Samba with Rugby Sevens.

What fun!

…as with all filming-type activities, there’s a considerable amount of waiting around to be done in between takes – but we had a whole lot of fun in the breaks. The zombies were being expertly made-up in the next room, which was quite amazing to see – the make-up artists really do create magic. Watching the other teams doing their thing down on the field while we stayed warm up in the Poneke Clubrooms was pretty cool – if you’ve never seen moonhopper Sevens before, you’re in for a treat…

We started off by doing a little training session with the rugby boys on what exactly is samba, and how to dance to it – ably tutored by Hillary. It was an interesting experience samba-ing next to these huge hulking rugby players, that’s for sure. Some of them were pretty good, too!

When it was our turn to do our thing, it was explained that our job on the sidelines was to watch for the signal and then play samba until they told us to stop, then start up again on the next signal, and so on. While were were drumming, the rugby players on the field had to samba (while continuing to play rugby), and anyone who didn’t do a good enough job would be sent off for half a minute to ponder their shortcomings…

Once we’d done the filming for that bit, it was another wait while the zombies played their game (very s-l-o-w-l-y) and then we all came together for a final all-in-it-mashup at the end. At some point there was also an attempt to get us to lip-synch to some cheesy 70s/80s song that was so cheesy I’ve clean forgotten what it was. I’m not entirely sure how successful that bit was. It made me wish (for the first time ever) for an inhibition-busting swig from a brown-paper-bagged bottle of tequila (of which we had precisely none).

This is how it turned out:

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