Cathay Pacific – Behind The Scenes

Pleased to be able to share a little behind-the-scenes action from a recent commercial shoot I did for Cathay Pacific in conjunction with the agency Eight Partnership from  Hong Kong.  Eight had spent a really long time work on the rebranding of Cathay and the cornerstone of that was an update of the livery design on the airplanes themselves.

Hong Kong Director Joanna Bowers works with DP Jack Lam on Cathay Pacific commercial shoot

Cathay is one of the most iconic Hong Kong brands in existence and the goal of this short film was to tell the story of how and why the livery needed updating and explore the chronological process that the designers used to reimagine the brand for a modern day consumer. I was lucky enough to have one of my favorite cinematographers Jack Lam on board for the shoot!

Director Joanna Bowers works with talent on set of Cathay Pacific shoot

Adding to the challenge of the filming  (other than hoping that the planes would be where we wanted them on the shoot day) was that I was also 5 months pregnant whilst directing, so not able to run around quite as much as I might usually on set!  It didn’t hold me back though – lucky to always have a PA nearby with a chair!

Commercial Director Joanna Bowers on location shooting for Cathay Pacific

We shot some incredible visuals and created some really powerful and dynamic storytelling for the brand that came together with some awesome VFX shots once we moved into post-production.

Director Joanna Bowers working with talent on Cathay Pacific shoot while pregnant

Added bonus was that the Cathay Pacific staff members we cast were naturals on camera and took direction really well!

Joanna Bowers directs talent on set shooting for Cathay Pacific livery film

And we had a really fantastic team on board for the production!

Behind The Scenes location scouting for Cathay Pacific brand film shoot


You can check out the finished film from this commercial shoot here:


SASSY MAMA: That Mama: Director of The Helper Documentary, Joanna Bowers

Joanna Bowers is a woman on a mission. As a producer, filmmaker and mama she has always been passionate about telling stories while communicating larger issues. Inspired by her own helper’s story – and domestic helpers in Hong Kong –  she set off to create an eye-opening (and hopefully “heart-opening”) documentary about these women’s lives.

Behind the scenes photo project: Hebei Province Cotton Farmers, China

This photo project was something I undertook whilst filming in China. I was there shooting some sustainability CSR content in Hebei province which took the form of a short documentary about cotton farmers implementing sustainable cotton farming practices.  The project was a collaboration between the Better Cotton Initiative and several government and private sector NGOs.

Elderly cotton farmer with the first photo of himself he's seen shot by Joanna Bowers while filming in china

I had a polaroid camera with me in my camera bag and when this first elderly farmer showed an interest in what we were filming I showed him some of our equipment and he was fascinated.   I quickly understood that he’d like me to take a photo of him – and then our interpreter explained that he’d actually never possessed a photo of himself.

Quite quickly this became habitual – as a thank you to the farmers for helping us out by allowing us to film on their land or to film them working, we would offer to take a portrait for them to keep.Farmer in Hebei, China shot by director Joanna Bowers whilst shooting in mainland China

I loved seeing their individual reactions to the shots and where they would put them afterwards to keep them safe!

From their reactions when handed the photos it became pretty evident that for so many of these villagers it was their first time seeing themselves on film!An old villager sees himself for the first time on film - image shot by director Joanna Bowers whilst filming in China A cotton farmer and her son shot whilst filming in China for a CSR storytelling project