Well, the term "spot" is used in the biz as a word for a commercial. I'm sure you knew that, but just in case you thought I was talkin' about a dog :-).
This past weekend I got up and headed in to the city from Brooklyn for my first national commercial shoot! Ok, well, I've been on a few national commercials, but not me per say, my voice. I did voice overs for musical artists and their promotional campaigns while I was in radio. This time around the spot is to promote not only me and my shows, but a new chick I'm luvin' and I hope you love too ... Aida Mollenkamp. Go check her show info out on FoodNetwork.com ... she is a crazy cool! We found out that we'd be shooting a commercial together a while back and kept trying to reach each other to chat on the phone. She lives on the left coast and was flying in for the shoot, so finally last week we both found time in our schedule to "meet" over the phone. I was in Oregon fresh from picking cherries, and she was in San Francisco making candied apples. Anyway, turns out she used to live in the tri-state area and listened to HOT 97, she was like "I think I listened to you, your voice is familiar". Small world huh? I was just happy we had something in common, food and music! So, needless to say we hit it off and both got off the phone excited to shoot our first spot. This is different for the network because it will air on other channels as well, so it'll hopefully give us some new viewers, cooooool with me.
Are you interested in the process? See, here's the rub, I have info and I dunno what's interesting to you lol. I know I'm blogging cuz boy, did I wish I had a peak inside as a viewer, so now that I'm on ... I'm just doin a lil stuff to fill the void for people like me out there, people that like information ... no matter how superfluous it is. So, I ask myself when I blog, "who cares?" ... here's a who cares paragraph ahead, if you don't care ... you can skip, but it's just some background on how things came together.
So, to backtrack, maybe like a month or so ago we got wind of the commercial. Then, there was the lunch meeting. I gotta tell ya, I love the lunch meeting. Biz gets done and tummy gets full ... what could be better for work? So the marketing people from the network, the advertising company people the network hired and lil ol me piled into Morimoto's restaurant to chat. The whole idea was for everyone to meet and then for the ad company to get to know me a bit before they went off to brainstorming land for the spot concept. I gotta tell ya, sometimes I can just babble for hours and that day I think I did ... it was a table of about 10 women and they all had questions and I had long-winded answers lol. The food was yummy and service was cool too. No complaints about the Iron Chef's spot. Well, after the lunch they said they had enough information to move forward and after that I didn't hear much about the concept until last week. Boy, those chicks at the ad agency, I say chicks with respect, really did get enough information! I got an email last Thursday from the marketing department and with it was an attachment of the story board for the commercial we'd shoot just 3 day later. It was simple and easy to understand with no words and it was hilarious and cute even at this stage. I'm sure I can't post it now, but I will when the commercial begins to air, so you can laugh along with me ... there's one frame where the ad company put both Aida's and my head on someone else's body, just to illustrate our placement in the scene and it looks hilarious!!!!
Ok, now that the details are over ... the fun. So, without giving away the concept, there are two little girls that play the younger version of us in the spot and this is little me, Kabrina.
Her mom found my blog and we've since emailed some, she says Kabrina woke up that Sunday morning and watched Cooking for Real so she could study my mannerisms more ... how cute is that? Such dedication from a young actor is probably why everyone on the set said she has a huge future ahead of her. They said at casting she walked in and they just knew it was her from her smile, but then wondered if she could act ... they found out in 2 seconds that she could and she got the gig!!! I don't wanna say it and have you think I'm biased cuz she plays me, but I think she is just such a pretty girl and the smile is a melter! Thanks to her mommy for the photos, you got a winner girl!
Here's me and Aida chillin between takes...
Lemme tell ya, every single thing in view is there down to the centimeter! They kept making teeny nudges to the left or right of the stuff on the counter behind us. All really to frame things up properly, so we did many takes and when the still photographer came in for the print ads that will accompany the campaign, boy did we take a jillion flicks. I dunno how models do it. Really ... definitely one of those gigs that looks like fun, but isn't 100%. I used to get that in radio plenty, people would say "oh it must be so much fun!" and I'd think, well most of the time, but some of the behind the scenes admin. stuff is a bore. This shoot wasn't a bore, but it surely wasn't cooking food or talking for hours, which is really fun lol!
Here's a long shot of the set and the monitor... the two dudes are standing in, blocking the shot to see where they want us to be in it.
and here's another shot of us workin'...
And here's all the execs and crew looking at one of the monitors ... there were monitors galore so everyone that needed to could check and make sure things looked right in the manner they were framed.
The shoot didn't take long, but it was in two locations. Aida and I shot in the Food Network test kitchens and the girrrrrrls aka "Young Sunny" and "Young Aida" filmed elsewhere (see me tryin' to be all secretive?) teeheehee. So, I never got to meet miss Kabrina, who played a younger me. By the time we wrapped, they'd wrapped as well ... what a production!!!
Anyway, I think today the network got the rough draft and stuff, but I have no idea when they will begin to run. As soon as I know, you'll know! Alright, stay tuned for a post about my Dear FN shoot yesterday in NYC with a Food Network fan from North Carolina!!!
UPDATE: TAKE A LOOK AT THE COMMERCIALS