I thought I would give you a little behind the scenes look at my commercial shoot for Pantene’s Aqua Light campaign. (Except by no means is it going to be a “little” look, as you can probably guess by the “Part One” designation in the title. I’ve been waiting 5 months to tell this story, so I probably won’t spare a detail!)
The shoot consisted of two days. The first day was the fitting/styling day, followed by the actual shoot on the next day. I thought we’d ease into this series with a post about the first day. I managed to grab a few shots with my iPhone, so here we go!
The shoot was located at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. (Right across from the Jeopardy sound stage – yoohooo, Alex Trebek! Over heeeere!)
The driver dropped me off in front of Stage 9, and first things first, if you haven’t seen a studio lot, it’s pretty intimidating. Huge warehouse-sized buildings, lots of alleys, people with headsets and clipboards whizzing around on carts…the best way to explain it would be that quintessential scene when the naive girl steps off a bus in a totally new city. There I stood, in the middle of the lot, overnight bag at my feet, wondering where I was supposed to go. I decided to peek behind the Stage 9 doors, and saw this.
Tons of people working like mad scientists in a 12,000 sq. ft. sound stage. Gulp.
I was then ushered over to the wardrobe room, and this is what I saw.
Pretty much my idea of heaven on earth. You all know I like to shop, and all of those racks of clothing were for me to try on. Not to mention the seamstress sitting in the corner, ready to tailor any item that might not fit perfectly. I was beginning to like this whole commercial thing…that was, until I realized what a fitting entails. Giggling with girlfriends while trying on the latest fashions? Um, no. Try standing in outfit after outfit while the director, the ad agency team, and the stylists all stare at you, seated with arms crossed, while quietly remarking to each other why they think this or that outfit is just NOT working. “Could you stand up? Lean against the wall? Sit down?” I remember at one point, the director asked me to “do what a blogger does,” so I just stuck my fingers out and pretended to type? YOU GUYS, good times.
(For the record, everyone I dealt with during the shoot was really lovely. Thanking my lucky stars on that one.)
A few hours later, the hairstylist (will you please look at her resume?) showed up to assess my hair for the shoot. I LOVED her. Serena has worked on most of Pantene’s campaigns, so I felt pretty honored, to say the least. What is involved in a hair assessment for a hair commercial, you ask? A lot of combing with a fine tooth comb, people. Lots of combing. Combing and assessing, combing and assessing. Usually, at this point, the hairstylist would touch up roots or refresh the hair color or trim, but since I don’t color my hair, she just put a quick glossing treatment on it. (A glossing treatment is like temporary hair color, without the pigment.)
Now, is this the face of a Pantene commercial or what? JAZZ HANDS.
After she shampoo and conditioned my hair, I endured the longest, most detailed blowout of my life, and was sent back to the hotel to get some rest for the big shoot the next morning. Call time? 5:45am. Who wants to guess how much sleep I got that night? (Hint – it was less than 2 hours.)
Part Two here.