Thursday, July 14, 2011


The call back for the six of us for a commercial advertising campaign resulted surprisingly in Christine and me being selected as principals, but not Jeff and Gina and their two children. Fortunately later last week, Jeff and Gina landed another. Yet what an interesting few days Christine and I have had this week, Monday through Wednesday. This is our first foray into commercial ads. We received word late last week that we were selected as two of six principal cast members, having no idea what we were expected to do. However, we learned that our roles were as senior man and senior woman. There is no doubt that we qualify by appearance and chronology. We arrived for wardrobe fittings on Monday. Then Tuesday and Wednesday were shooting days on a large lakeside acreage with a waterfront heritage home.

This was an atypical production because the cast was much larger than is customary. There were forty extras,and the six principals. The production crew was enormous, ten trucks, scores of production people, camera personnel, grips and gaffers, electricians and lighting technicians, set, props and art decorators, hair and makeup stylists, attendants, catering team, and even portable toilet. In addition the client company had a number of marketing, writing, advertising professionals on hand watching monitors with the developing action and still visuals. It was a very hands-on production. Someone said that this crew was the size often seen on movie productions.

Once on site, and having gone to wardrobe for the right apparel, we sat with other cast in a cavernous barn on the property. This was the sheltered holding area, where there was a constant supply of good foods available. Upon arrival you could grab a sumptuous breakfast at the catering trailer. Lunch was mid afternoon on both days. Tables and chairs accommodated us all during the hours that we waited for a call. Calls came to the entire group sometimes and at other times just couples or several at a time. Sometimes they were still shots taken rapid fire and other times it was action. Christine and I were even called for an audio only for sound bites that might be used. Hours and hours of digital material will be edited into 60 second commercials and magazine and brochure pieces.

We were impressed that while sun, clouds and rain alternated throughout both days, the crew managed their windows of opportunity with expertise.

We finished each day by 9:00 or 9:30 PM and drove home so by 10:30 pm we were weary even though we had nothing particularly strenuous.

We meet some fantastic people, might even have established a casual acquaintance or two that we can revisit. We found the clients very affirming. It was a new and enjoyable experience. After the goodbyes as we walked down the dark lane to our car, we overheard the director on the handheld radios telling his crew to meet the next morning downtown and thanks for a great day.

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