A few years ago I got a knock on my door from a gentleman who told me he was looking for homes like mine to possibly shoot a commercial. He then asked if I would be interested in knowing more. My curiosity wouldn’t allow me to say no and so I said sure what’s it all about. He said well I work for a company hired by The Martin Agency and we regularly do commercials for their clients. Now I was even more interested because The Martin Agency is one of the top agencies in the United States and they have some of the largest and most well know clients. A few times over the next year to year and a half I got a call saying that my house was in the running to be used but it never got chosen. Bummer right.
Move forward about six months and I get the same call again, but this time I was told the Director has chosen my house. The client is Walmart and they are doing a commercial for their client Velveeta. Sweet, now what? So 8am sharp I had what looked like an ATF Team about to raid my house. My street was lined with cars and one after another people kept coming in my house from the Director, Producer, Set Designer, Writers, Production Assistants, Lighting guys, you name it. They immediately set up shop and started talking about what was going to take place. This meeting lasted about an hour and they all left content with what needed to be done for the next day. Good thing I’m clean and organized because they looked in my cabinets, fridge, bathroom, etc to make sure everything was going to work.
Then at 2pm a two man crew came in and began removing any items that would either be in the way or wouldn’t be used in the shots. My couches, fusbol table, chairs, carpets, etc are all in my garage and they are bringing in their own equipment to give the room the look and feel of the demographic the commercial is intended for which is a younger single mom. They are also laying down their own carpets and covering the walls up to about three feet for protection. So far everything is going well, but you have to be open minded about the process and trust that they won’t mess anything up and if they do everything will be ok because after all it’s for Walmart. They have a few dollars.
Yea, these guys don’t mess around.
So at 6:00 am sharp the entire crew of about thirty minus the actors shows up to get everything ready. Breakfast was served at 6:30 am and the actors came in at 7:00 am.
At about 8:30am everything was ready to go and the first of three scenes began filming. There was very little talking or movement allowed during the next six hours. They even had to turn off my A/C and refrigerator because of the sound when they kick on and off. After they wrapped the three scenes up they took another few hours shooting the different food products. At about 6:30pm they wrapped it up and began the breakdown process. At 8:00pm they were gone.
The experience of seeing how much goes into even a small production like this was pretty incredible because it takes so many people and so much equipment to get the job done. If I had to do it all over again I would because it’s quick money, The Park Group was extremely polite and they left my house cleaner than when they got there.