Filming the Holland’s Pies Commercial

Published: 25th Jan 2021

Two rival counties recently united when Lancashire and Yorkshire combined during the pandemic to produce a deliciously effective commercial. 

Holland’s Pies are a well-known Lancashire bakery based near Accrington. Established in 1851, they’ve been the number 1 pie-maker for hundreds of fish and chips shops and cafés around the country – as well as being favourite for thousands of hungry households. With the slogan “A proper Lancashire baker”, Holland’s Pies makes over 1 million pies a week. That’s some going!  

BTS of filming

So when the baker needed the best models for their new ‘Family Pie’ commercial, Models Direct were the obvious choice. The company’s PR company, The Lucre Group, initially got in touch with us, and we were able to provide 11 models for the campaign – two families and four separate models.

Like a lot of good promotions, the idea was relatively simple: to show the food-loving public how one of the nation’s favourite dishes can be enjoyed during the COVID-19-affected restrictions. Our star models excelled, proving that commercials can be filmed safely during the pandemic, and are not “pie in the sky” ideas – quite the opposite, in fact, as they can be filmed just as effectively if the right precautions are observed.  

The Lancashire company chose Leeds as their filming location – a large part of the commercial was filmed at Park Square in the city’s financial district. The filming was a fine example of how “social bubbles” can be utilised in a safe environment and work can still take place in these times (which are, albeit, slowly improving!)  


All our models shone, with social distancing and the use of sanitizers key factors in the minute-long online commercial. They were required as non-speaking parts in everyday scenarios: playing in a park, watching the football in a pub, being served a coffee. We take these for granted; as the commercial stated at the start, “Some things we can’t share right now…” However, at the end, the Semedo family tucked into a Holland’s Family Pie (with gravy, of course) – providing the four hungry souls with the ideal family supper. This was perhaps the most obvious example of the benefits of family modelling. Without a modelling family, the commercial couldn’t have been shot. Luckily, Models Direct always have the perfect models on-hand for any type of assignment! 

One of our models – Barney – was delighted to involve his two sons in the commercial, illustrating how we’re currently not allowed to share sweets in public with people outside “social bubbles”. Barney said,  “It was a great experience to introduce my sons into the world of modelling and promo work! They loved it and the other people were great to work with. All details and communication from Models Direct were easy and straightforward.”

Barney later revealed that his sons weren’t bored for the one-hour shoot, and his youngest son was encouraged to frown when required by the lure of sweets. Kids, eh – easily pleased! As it was their first assignment, we look forward to placing them in more jobs and watching their modelling careers blossom!

Speaking of feedback from the shoot, check out the following praise:

“Such a professional company,” Clare beamed. “I have a great agent – Charlie is always there to listen and give advice and always tries her best to find you work!”

Jack was equally grateful; “I can honestly say I enjoyed every second of it! Everyone was so welcoming and upbeat. The day went so fast and was so well-planned. Models Direct is an amazing company and I can’t wait to work with them in the future. Thank you Models Direct!”

Nyasha commented; “Working with Models Direct was such an amazing experience. Everyone is so friendly. The Models Direct team helped me a lot in terms of my portfolio and working with them is always a pleasure.”

Lastly, Callum reported; “It was such an enjoyable day, and I met some funny people. I’d never done promotional work before, and Models Direct were incredibly accommodating. They handled everything and the day went smoothly. The two families I worked with were full of characters and I honestly didn’t think it would be that much fun. Thank you for the opportunity.”

The final commercial for Holland’s Pies’ Family Pie can be viewed here:

To see the type of modelling jobs we’ve got on our books, take a look at our website. Alternatively, to become involved in family modelling campaigns, click here

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