EAF works fast and furious for blockbuster movie

Shooting a blockbuster movie in Tenerife sounds like a blast, but before you can think about explosive action, you first need to transport your props to the island. For The Fast & The Furious 6, this involved transporting military tanks from the UK.

EAF Logistics was asked by four top specialist transporters to assist in surveying the route and logistics as well as securing permits.

The project began in mid-September 2012. EAF’s job was to ensure the armoured tanks could be transported to five main filming locations on Tenerife in time for the filming. From its office in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, EAF worked closely with Melina Frias of SurFilm Productions, contacting authorities throughout Spain.

With Film crews running into the hundreds, delays to the schedule were not an option. However, with filming two weeks away, the Spanish authorities had a default six to eight week processing time. EAF’s ability to overcome such difficulties is the reason many transportation companies throughout Europe have come to rely on EAF.

Marc Wodehouse of EAF says, “We set to work at a manic pace, first lobbying the Transport Ministry in Madrid to hopefully find any way of chipping away at the six to eight weeks.

“Ian Rolls, our lead surveyor, drove the 1,120km from Santander to Cadiz, checking all relevant bridges in an amazing 22 hours.”

The Spanish Transport Ministry processes hundreds of ‘over-size’ permit applications each week.

Marc adds, “EAF has nearly 30 years’ experience lobbying governments in 31 countries and there’s been more than one occasion, when we’ve had to name drop to help speed things along.

“I’m a fan of all the previous five films, but I didn’t quite realise just how popular these movies are in Spain. We were barely 10 mins into our rather sombre first meeting with the authorities in Madrid to start the lobbying process, when we just happened to mention that the specialist road transport permits for the ‘armoured battle tanks’ for filming The Fast & the Furious 6 ©’.

“To say the authorities were helpful was an understatement. They processed the mainland permissions in just three days.
Tenerife was slightly more complicated. Individual permits were required for day or night driving to all five locations, including a brand new Autopista in the south of the island.”

Big budget films like this bring a great deal of money and employment to a small island like Tenerife. While co-operation from the local authorities can be more forthcoming, there are strict protocols to be followed, including a wealth of health and safety issues.

“At EAF we pride ourselves that failure is not an option, but I have to admit, that whilst there was progress it wasn’t as fast (or furious) as we needed,” says Marc.

“I have to give major credit to Melina Frias. Her little black book of contacts was amazing. Without Melina’s input and amazing influence with the Tenerife authorities, I don’t think we would have made the incredibly short deadline.

“The end result was that every delivery went to plan. Each Tank reached its destination without a scratch, Whereupon, as you’ll see in the film, they promptly blew the lot up!”

Pictures are copyright Universal Pictures.