Monday, January 11, 2010

Epilogue: Almost famous (Lydia as cheap labor/an extra in an Italian Commercial)

This one is for Marmo, who said he'd like to see the final commercial when I blogged about my bad experience being an extra in an Italian commercial here in Valparaiso a few weeks ago.

To jolt your memory, I was recruited to be an extra and started at 6am because I had a more "European look" and then took part in a second filming starting at 9am that, without knowing ahead of time, lasted until nighttime. We were misled not only about the time commitment, but about payment too, as in the end I got paid only $12,000 pesos for 13 hours, of which I had to be on my feet under the sun the whole time, and was told I couldn't sit, use the bathroom, etc... The shoot turned into a protest around 7pm when they let me go with the others that came for the 6am start time, and claimed the rest would stay just a little longer til 8:30 to film the remaining portion. As I expected, and you can see in the video, there is a take with lighters where it is dark out, so obviously they didn't end the shoot at 8:30 as promised either because its not even dusk yet at that hour.

So, the time you've been waiting for has come: the commercial is out!

....And it turns out... I don't even show up. So much for my moment of fame.

Well, when you see the commercial you won't think thats very surprising, considering the large number of people who do take part in the commercial. However, if you were there to see just how incredibly close I was to the people who DO show up in the commercial with somewhat notable roles, it is actually quite surprising I can't be seen.

To name a few points,
  • Right at the beginning a man with a briefcase comes across the street. Right after the cut, he and I cross paths alone. (Filmed on calle Arturo Prat near Urriola, close to the Plaza Sotomayor)
  • At 22 seconds into the film I was one of the girls that had to walk right in front of the camera by the car mirror, and usually started walking right after that girl in white with the sunglasses hanging from her shirt. (Filmed on calle Blanco just West of Plaza Sotomayor)
  • At 34 seconds, every time they reset to call "ACCION!" I started out directly in front of the guy in the wheelchair, who was in there just for diversity, as after the zillion takes of that shot, he just got up and walked away. (Filmed on calle Blanco just West of Plaza Sotomayor)
  • In the other takes I might have appeared, for example at 39 seconds, there is a huge crowd and picking me out would be near impossible... assuming I wasn't sneaking a moment to sit on the pavement jejej. I'm near the street pole in the back left corner which is the intersection of calle Blanco with the plaza Sotomayor

Also, note that some of the shots are very obviously Chile. Not that most Italians would notice or care, but still odd they would shoot a commercial for an Italian bank so far away. (Then again, not so odd, as obviously Chileans and gringa expats are CHEAP LABOR to the Italians! ugh) The commercial even opens with a view of the street Arturo Prat probably filmed from somewhere near the Lord Cochrane house above the Armada, whose blue and white paint you can see in the tower in the foreground, and the white building across the street is easily identifiable as the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes. Some other takes are in Santiago.

Anyway, enjoy!


Marmo said...

There´s still some hope. Sometimes filmakers make 2 spots from all the takes they have. If they were shooting fom 6am to midnight, they have enough material for sure. So, who knows, you could be the star of the next commercial, when they show their new mortgage rates xD.
The commercial looks great, there was a LOT of people.
It´s actually strange that you didn´t appear in this version, that´s why I think maybe they are saving you for other chapter of the same campaign. Just a theory.

Ps: Thank you for remember about the commercial, I know people that will love to watch it, because they love Valparaiso, and seeing this will surprise them.

lydia said...

youre right, maybe they would use it for something or other someday.

hahhaa... they probably ditched any footage of me after realizing my neon red sunburned face was too much evidence of their bad treatment of the extras that day.

there were definitely many many people. there were at least 600 extras in valpo, and i heard something like 400 or 500 in Santiago. plus some of those takes don't appear to be from either shoot (like the ones of individual people)

Marmo said...

This is not related with the commercial, but when I saw it, I thought you would like to see it with your boyfriend:

I would love to see something like that in Valpo xD

lydia said...

bahha... you know, i think he's seen it, or part, because he showed me the trick with the pringles can top. hah, that makes it sound like he actually did he showed me the part of the video with the pringles can lid. i dont think he can actually do most of that stuff, just some of the flips and whatnot. maybe juggling...but that guy is nuts!
i liked how he somehow stacked the dice inside the cup.

there are a couple people who do stuff like that in valpo... one guy thats really amazing Ricardo("pulga") is great with all thouse parkour tricks. he's even been in a couple commercials and such. but mostly i think everybody focuses on one or two talents while this guy in the video does a bunch.

thanks for the video, (maybe itll give me something to practice when i'm bored hahhaa)

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