My Pantene Commercial: Behind the Scenes (Part Two)
Part One here.
I woke up the morning of the shoot around 5:00am. Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say that I got out of bed at 5:00am. After getting a taste of the size and scope of the commercial the day before, my nerves got the best of me overnight. I did fall asleep at some point in the wee hours of the morning, only to be jolted awake by a nightmare that I had missed my call time. Thanks, REM, I appreciate it.
The driver picked me up at 5:45am, and I was on my way to the shoot. First up, hair and makeup with Serena and Francesca. (Francesca is just Beyonce’s personal makeup artist. NO BIGGIE.)
As you can see, the sun was just coming up. (Hello across the way, Alex!) Serena looked over my hair and started to smooth out any slept-on action. (For those of you who asked in the last post, yes, my hair was blown out the day before and not washed again on the day of the shoot.) And this is why Serena gets paid the big bucks…perfectly smooth hair.
We had a super full day, starting with the famous Pantene hair swish. This made me tremendously happy because a) DUH, I was going to do the Pantene swish, and b) it would give me some time to acclimate to the set and crew before we filmed my speaking parts.
Now, I had received the call sheet the day before, so I knew that there would be approximately 80 people working at the shoot, but I can’t even adequately express to you all just how much time and effort and manpower is involved in shooting a national commercial. I would be lying to you if I said my adrenaline wasn’t pumping at 1,000 percent that morning. I was the “talent” (never thought I’d see THAT next to my name on a call sheet), and the pressure was on.
The sound stage was enormous.
I couldn’t have dreamed up a better set for “my bedroom.”
The details of the shoot were so intricate and beautiful. (Like I said, SO much effort and creativity put into every step.)
Then there were the people.
ALL OF THE PEOPLE. Who were watching my every move, thankyouverymuch. The director, the producers, the camera department, the lighting crew, grips, art department, A/V, the advertising execs, the client…like I said, NO PRESSURE.
(I loved every single moment, though. My parents have said it for decades…I live for pressure situations. I’m weird like that.)
The director of the shoot was Tryan George (seen here in the top hat), and the director of photography (standing behind) was Pieter Vermeer. You should totally check out the links of their work. Impressive stuff…
(Just between you and me, and since I am 99.99% percent sure I’ll never see him again, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Pieter was not so bad to look at…nope not at all, that Pieter. One hell of a scruffy looker, if you ask me.)
One thing I learned rather quickly in regards to shooting a commercial is that lots of people get all up in your personal space, but they don’t want to talk to you. This seemed a little odd at first (Hey! Are you trying to make out with me? No? Okay then…), but I quickly realized they just need to execute their job, whether it be apply more lip gloss, fix and errant strand of hair, or test the lighting. So don’t try to be polite and make chitchat, people. Zip it.
See? Not talking, just standing still while the nice man cups his hand next to my head. Trés professional.
Here I am on set, deep in thought.
(Deep in thought about PIETER. Kidding! Possibly.)
(Actually, I was thinking, “Am I really about to attempt the Pantene swish wearing the mangy cargo pants I rolled out of bed and threw on at 5:00am?”)
(The answer was yes.)
The time had come. It was swish time.
I’ll be back next week with a lot more of this.
Part Three here.