You Learn

Lys and Zach setting up the shot, Mike on sound

Sunday morning Mike and I wake up at 6am (normal for him; super early for me). We’re shooting our Doritos commercial today! We quickly stop on the way for some last minute things: creamer for coffee, granola bars, and bagels and cream cheese. Dane is getting the rest. If you ever shoot something, feeding people is important. It makes them happy, and I definitely want everyone to be happy today. Not that we’re a big group. It’s me, Mike, Zach, Lys, Dane, and Troy.

Mike and I arrive first to Zach and Lys’ apartment. They graciously offered to let us use their place. We wanted an office, but that fell through. The lady that Tina set me up with didn’t get back to me in time. She did eventually, and was super nice and apologetic. She said if I ever needed to use an office in the future, I could use hers, so I’m grateful for that. Making those contacts!

Dane walks in shortly after. He looks happy and then annoyed. “Dammit, I wanted to get here before her.” (Her being me.) Too bad I was thinking the exact same thing last night when I set my alarm. I told Mike I wanted to get here before Dane. This is somewhat my project after all. It’s all of ours, but it started with my script and was something I really, really wanted to make. Dane has felt like a partner through the whole thing, and none of this would even happen without the rest of the group. Troy walks in and everyone is here. Introductions all around. It’s cool to have Mike and Troy meeting the group.

Dane is directing and Lys is the DP (director of photography), so they go outside to talk about the shot list. I change into “wardrobe,” which is just shorts, a tank top, and boots. Soon enough, we’re shooting the first scene. This is the easy part because I don’t have Doritos all over my face. Once we move on, it’s into the bathroom to figure out how to make this bag of crumbs stick to my face. First I try vaseline – no go. I figure, when you eat Doritos, they get all over your fingers, so maybe I should just rub them all over my face. Not smart. I’m scratching my face and now it’s burning. Try Blistex. This is a little better, and with a little water splashed on my face, it does the trick.

Lys, Dane, and Troy

The scene at the door is fun. I try it a bunch of different ways, liking some and not others. Dane tells me to try something different. “Take a bite out of the chip after your line.” I do. Didn’t really like that one. Should I do it with the chip again? “No.” He said no. I want to point this out, because once in the editing room, this is the exact shot he and Mike decide to use. I don’t like it, but it’s the only shot of me biting the chip. Curse you, Dane. I make sure he knows it, too, announcing it to group after I see the finished product. “OK, yes, you were right and I was wrong. Should I have T-shirts made?” Yes, I wouldn’t be opposed to that.

For the next scene, Troy now needs Doritos all over his face, too. I help him in the kitchen over the sink. He sort of whispers. “Why isn’t Zach the lead?” I get it. Zach is hilarious and has a very small part at the beginning. I could tell Troy was getting frustrated earlier with take after take of the same line. His part is definitely the most difficult. I now know that Troy is definitely more of a dramatic actor than comedic, but it doesn’t matter. Troy does look more the part than Zach. And when I asked Troy at the very beginning if he could help, he said yes. He’s basically doing this for me as a favor. You’d be surprised how hard it is to count on people, and I knew that wasn’t an issue with Troy.

We do a couple different options for the last scene. Towards the end, Troy and I are so spent. And our faces are burning. We’re sitting on the bed and I’m giving Dane a hard time. OK, can you make sure you say, “Action,” this time? Thanks. But seriously, it’s a great experience. I loved working with Dane, Zach, Lys, and Mike. It was really like a team. We all worked together and respected each other. Of course it was easy to act with Troy, too, because we know each other so well.

In the next week, Mike and Dane edit it together. I had high hopes for this project. But, it was my first real production, so mistakes were made. I learned a lot. We were on a tight time schedule and no budget, so working with what we had, I’m happy and proud of what we were able to accomplish. And I can’t wait to work on a new project with this group…thanks guys, you rock!!!

Here’s the link to watch the commercial… might have to copy and paste:

http://apps.facebook.com/crashthesuperbowl/?page=watch&video=1442

*Alanis Morrisette

 

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