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Baristas brew up a taste of Hollywood

13th October 2016

A film which has seen two young baristas bring a little taste of Hollywood to Wrexham has been voted the best of its kind on three continents.

The short promotional video produced by 22-year-old Billy Paterson and his workmate Rob Stead, 28, in their time away from the coffee machine at Starbucks in Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre has landed the company’s equivalent of an Oscar.

It was selected as the best idea to promote a new line of American tea dreamt up by scores of its staff across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

The 90-minute film has also gone viral on Facebook since it went public, winning scores of shares.

Billy, who is originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and joined the team at the Eagles Meadow Starbucks last year after gaining an English degree at Glyndwr University, said: “We have a new line of tea from America called Teavana which can be served hot or iced and is the big thing for us at the moment,

“The company invited all its staff to come up with ideas for promoting it and Rob and myself decided we’d put together a video.

“Rob is a keen photographer in his spare time so he became the cameraman and editor while I wrote the screenplay and did some of the acting.

“While the song Shake it Off by Taylor Swift plays in the background, the film starts with me shaking a serving ofTeavana in our shop.

“There are then a couple of location shots - outside our Eagles Meadow shop, looking down the shopping centre towards the pedestrian bridge and near the famous fountains on the Spanish Steps.

“Things then move on as the shaker is passed to staff from other Starbucks in different parts of the UKstanding by their own iconic landmarks like the castles in Durham, Carlisle and Edinburgh, the bridge in Newcastle, a famous hotel in Manchester city centreand the shoreline in Inverness.

“In all, we involved 11 other Starbucks branches and got in touch with them after our area manager put out the call for people to get involved.

“They filmed their own short sections, sent them in to us and we edited everything together. I think the end result looks pretty good.”

Billy added: “There were all kinds of promotional ideas submitted from across Starbucks, including short plays and product sampling with customers, which were all entered in a competition.

“The judges said that our concept was executed really well and was the best from right across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which is fantastic.

“We’re really excited about it and winning was well worth all the laughing we had to put up with as we were filming our own scenes around Eagles Meadow.

“The video went on Facebook and has had a couple of thousand views with lots of shares. It’s also been quite popular on YouTube.

“For winning the competition what else would be win but a teapot and a stock of Teavana in a variety of flavours.”   

Fresh from their cinematic success with the tea video, Wrexham’s own Spielberg and Lucas have since turned their attention to producing another promo, this time for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, which has seen Billy and his colleagues at branches across Britain donning pumpkin outfits to set the right tone.

They used the same production techniques with Billy kicking things off at Eagles Meadow and Rob weaving in similar scenes submitted by colleagues in other towns and cities.

That video, to the strains of Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls, has also proved popular on Facebook where it has so far attracted 9,000 views    

They’re also in the process of putting together a Christmas special, details of which they’re keeping close to their chests.

“At this stage we can’t say what it’s going to feature because we don’t want anyone to pinch our ideas but, hopefully, it’s going to be another blockbuster for us,”Billy said.                           

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: "Billy and Rob are great baristas but I hadn't realised until now that they are also talented film-makers.

"The video is lively and entertaining so I can see why they have won the award. It's a great accolade."