Monday, September 23, 2013

From the self flagellation files


One of the corollaries about writing a blog is that at some point, somebody, somewhere, is going to be offended. With close to 1,000 entries, it's more like a guarantee.

I like to spread it around and have made potentially offensive remarks about Christians, Jews, Muslims, feminists, rednecks, homosexuals, heterosexuals, liberals, conservatives, African Americans, White Trash Americans, and advertising planners.

Nevertheless, it seems I can't pick up a keyboard these days without sending someone to the my-feelings-have-been-hurt corner.

Get over it.
It's a huge fucking universe.
And at tops, 300 people read this on any given day.

It would appear that the only "safe" target for my pointed rhetoric is the guy I have to look at every morning in the mirror. Fortunately, it's quite the robust target.

Last week, during an intense period of self-distraction and writer's procrastination, I was combing through the some videos on youtube. It was there I discovered a treasure trove of old commercials I had written in my previous life as an agency staffer. I prefer the term, sucker.

How old were theses spots? They were produced before the digital era, which means they were stored on 3/4 inch videotape. This was a popular method for broadcast reproduction during the Woodrow Wilson administration.

Am I going to share this classic spot with you?
Is the Pope Catholic?
Maybe not so much these days.

But first some qualifiers.

This was written at the very beginning of the video gaming era. So it's not very sophisticated. Nor did we have multi-million dollar budgets for any of that esoteric "branding" nonsense. This was, "here's $250,000, show us some game footage and make it exciting."





The spot is not great by any means. But shooting it was.

My partner, John Shirley, and I got to spend an entire day on a live artillery range in Valencia. We wore Kevlar vests. Soldier's helmets. And we got to use real dynamite, this was pre-CGI and everything was shot in camera.

Plus, we had the opportunity to work with a young director, who has since gone on to make a name for himself, Doug Liman.

He directed Tiny Tank before he did any of the Jason Bourne movies.

John and I like to think this commercial launched Doug Liman's stellar career. I'm pretty sure Doug would say otherwise.

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