A Taste of HollywoodBy Missy Henriksen
- National Pest Management Association
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The past several weeks have felt very Hollywood-esque for
me. While sadly, there have been no sightings of George
Clooney, no time in limos and no strolls down the red carpet, there
have been lots of lights, cameras, and action as we develop several
new TV spots and web-based videos.
All of our recent pieces address the health risks associated with
pests, and while the topics are serious and imposing, the
behind-the-scenes work has been anything but. I thought I’d share a
little glimpse of these out-of-the ordinary experiences.
The first pieces we shot last month were our Public Service
Announcements (PSAs) which were produced in cooperation with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of
America. The 30- and 60-second spots educate viewers about how
prevalent pest related allergy
and asthma triggers are in U.S. homes. For instance, they
note that 78% to 98% of city homes contain cockroaches and 82% of
U.S. homes contain mice allergens, factors linked to allergies and
asthma. (Watch for these pieces to air nationwide this spring.)
My Taste of Hollywood Take-Aways…
- Casting calls are unique experiences. We
watched no fewer than 100 actors audition for one part in the PSA.
I loved reading the bios on the actors’ head shots where they
literally list all talents imaginable ….yodeling, holding their
breath, proficiency in jumping jacks, mastery of bubble-blowing,
pig calling….I guess they are looking to share anything that can
give them a competitive edge in being cast. I must admit, my
fascination with the actors’ life skills often distracted me from
their actual auditions!
- It takes a long time to get quality
production. It took nine hours to film a 30 second and 60
second spot for TV. The lighting, acting, and angles all had
to be just so. Then there were days and days of time spent in
post-produ ction to complete the pieces. It was time incredibly
well spent as the finished spots are educational and powerful.
- There are a lot of people involved in shooting a
PSA. There was a team of at least 30 to film our short
pieces. They were all always busy, often adju sting things – a
little to the left, a little to the right, a little higher, and a
little lower. Yes, there were dollies, grips, and gaf fers which I
always see listed in movie credits. No, I still don’t kn ow what
any of them do!
- Movie trailers are very cool.
We had a big production trailer from which to watch the
filming. It had a complete kitchen, a make-up room, a living
room, and an array of production equipment. I felt VERY
Hollywood-esque in my trailer.
We also recently “wrapped” production on our new Health Checks
videos and Pest Prescriptions by Parada, M.D. – both featuring Dr. Jorge
Parada, medical advisor to NPMA. Dr. Parada, an infectious
disease specialist, discusses health issues associated with a
myriad of pests and dispelling common misperceptions about health
care and pests. He talked almost solidly for nine hours and we will
get approximately 45 minutes of videos. Dr. Parada did a
great job of taking complex medical jargon and sharing important
information so that it’s easy to understand.
My Taste of Hollywood Take-aways…
- Before the director yells “action,” the camera people
say “speed” which means they are ready. It is a hold-over
phrase from yester-year when cameras needed time to rev-up and be
at the right speed to record. Today, a simple push of a button does
the trick, but in deference to tradition, the terminology has
remained the same.
- The hot camera lights necessitate a lot of powdering
for the actors. I would like to have a make-up person
follow me around throughout the day for touch-ups as
- Production sets are incredibly realistic.
Every last detail is considered about what might be seen on
camera. Medical books and office paraphernalia, diplomas,
etc. are all authentic, even those items that are likely not to be
seen as the realistic representation is important.
I hope you enjoyed this slight deviation from my normal blog
post. I look forward to sharing our finished videos with you
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