Titi Abiola featuring in the new Hyatt commercial
Titi Abiola, recently featured in the striking new Hyatt commercial that was cast by Mark Summers.
Titi, a well-travelled Londoner comes from an acting and design background. Constantly training, she recently completed a course in film and theatre performance at The New School for Acting, in New York.
Of the casting experience she says, ‘there was a good synergy between Mark, Andrew (Camera Operator), and I. Mark had set the scene and I could assume the role of teacher/volunteer with ease. It felt like play, and that’s when the magic happens!’
As is often the case in commercial castings, Titi had one day between auditioning, getting the call back, and then booking the job to be shot in Morocco!
They had a pre-filming day to scope out the locations: desert sandwiched between mountains, with even a breath-taking rainbow.
Of the filming, Titi says, ‘we were surrounded by the backdrop of the Marrakech desert, stimulated by the mountains and the colours from the locals. It made the experience authentic. Being immersed in this environment assisted me in being the character I was called to play.’
In keeping with her teacher/volunteer role, Titi’s hair, makeup and wardrobe was kept simple. She tried on a variety of different outfits and photos were taken of each look for the client and creative team, to make their final choices.
‘The best part of shooting was learning more about the process, the different angles and shots that create an interesting composition. The team spirit also enriched my experience.
One of the final scenes of the Hyatt commercial shows the community and I dancing to the Berber drummers- that experience was golden.’
Titi was also delighted when Salomon Lighthelm, the director, asked her to give acting tips to the young actress that her character had befriended. She says, ‘I have really come to enjoy improvisation as you are in the moment and open to new discoveries.’
‘I’m always surprised by the amount of footage that is shot during a commercial, versus the final edit, where hours of filming are condensed into seconds, combined with the task of capturing the essence of the message.’
Of this incredible filming experience, she feels she has reaffirmed her beliefs, including the need to trust the process and trust yourself. Also, how important it is to stay present and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Titi plans to keep honing her craft and work on projects that both excite and stretch her as an actor, and a creative that wants to make a difference.
She adds, ‘It’s also important to keep adding to your skillset. I couldn’t have carried out my role effectively without being able to speak French.’