Thursday February 03, 2000
The deathly stare
After auditioning for a principal role for a Tire Kingdom commercial as a Mafia type the week before, my commercial agent Jennifer called to tell me they did want to use... my eyes...
(that is, usually),
this could fall under "extra work," I was being afforded "part model" pay
(as would a hand model, etc.).
I would earn as my
private-sector compensation for labour
the model session fee plus 10%
(which would cover the agency commission),
as was done for the two Volvo commercials I did.
Having found the company's web site and finding it's based in the southeast, I knew it'd be another regional spot anyway.
The shoot location was in Los Angeles in the warehouse district at Palmetto/Hewitt.
My call time was 5:00pm, which I figured was towards the end of the day's shoot and I'd be shot for about thirty minutes and out of there.
To my surprise after busing there it was the beginning of a night shoot.
There was no actual holding area so I was relegated to the back of the motor home
(which the crew refered to as the Mo-Ho...),
in which was the production offices and hair/make-up
(technically it was the honeywagon).
I wandered over to the warehouse with all the lights set up, went upstairs and got a soda at craft services while I was waiting.
By about 7:00pm I was a bit bored and was thirsty again, so I went back into the warehouse down the alley and retrieved another soda, briefly watching some TV that a techie had on.
Around 8:00pm I walked towards the alley in which they were shooting, and while chatting with one of the techs, learned that we were one of three production shoots going on in the same couple of blocks.
A bit puzzled, I asked, "You mean, that warehouse down there isn't our production?"
"Thinking it was ours, I've been over there twice already to their craft services.
I've had two sodas, hung out watching TV for a few minutes, and no one even said boo to me about it!"
Later relating this to second AD Adam
(at our own craft service table),
he found it just as hilarious.
"Yeah, I'll be re-telling that story..."
The commercial spot was titled
and had nothing to do with the commercial storyline for which I'd auditioned.
That storyline was filmed during that day, in Pasadena.
I was brought to set officially around 8:30pm or so.
I'd been watching them shoot the latter part of the spot in which a tire is thrust through a slot in the lower part of the door.
I was made-up and brought inside to the inner part of the door.
They set up the camera right at the eye slot
(similar to what they used to use in 1920's speak-easy entrances).
After a couple of run-throughs for the camera, they did about five takes. They set up another angle, did about five takes, a few with different eye movements, etc.
One or three with taking the money, a few without taking the money, and two takes of just opening the eye slot and staring straight ahead then closing the door slot.
I was wrapped at 9:20pm.
As it was Adam set up a taxi to take me home as it was just late enough for me not to make it to my homeward bus after the previous two buses from that rather unsafe seeming neighbourhood.
The taxi company had to be called thrice; eventually the dispatcher began to sound a little... patronizing
(despite my friendly and apologetic nature),
but the cab did eventually arrive... a little after 11:00pm
(so I'd only been waiting for it for about ninety minutes since we first called for it).
I never received a video copy of this commercial,
nor did I ever receive information how to obtain one.
It should be noted that, my having notified her to watch for it, that my Aunt Penny in Florida did see the spot on TV about two weeks later.
Being a buy-out spot, I did not receive residuals.
Four months later the same warehouse for which I mistook being for our production would be the smae warehouse in which I worked on
Dude, Where's My Car?