Super Bowl Commercial (255th new thing).

January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Day Two Hundred Fifty-Five was our first shoot day (of four) at the Hyundai plant, and my first time working on a commercial that was to be aired during the Super Bowl. Like right before kick-off during the Super Bowl. It was pretty exciting, or at least it will be when the football game airs.

I spent my day shuffling people to and from the plant, assisting in the production office, and generally trying to stay out of the way of people working hard, but still be available should anyone need anything. You know, a typical day as a production assistant. It wasn’t too eventful, although I did get to don safety goggles and a helmet.

That’s pretty exciting, huh?

Car Parts (254th new thing).

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

We were still in pre-production days on the Hyundai commercial I was working on in Montgomery. However, on Day Two Hundred Fifty-Four I was able to see inside the workings of a car manufacturing plant when I drove the wardrobe stylist and her assistant to the location. It was my first time seeing any kind of manufacturing facility in person.

We didn’t get a tour or anything, but I was able to ride in an extended golf cart through the facility, both indoors and out. We only traveled from the reception area to the clothing store, where employees purchase their preferential color polo shirt embroidered with the Hyundai logo. But it was still kind of cool, speeding by assembly line workers adding various pieces to the cars as they were carried by.

Tornado??!! (253rd new thing).

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although you may not believe me, prior to Day Two Hundred Fifty-Three I had never heard a tornado siren. “Surely,” you may say, “you, living in the Southeast, have at least heard ONE tornado siren in your life??” But the truth is that if I had indeed experienced the terror of a piercing warning of a possible oncoming disaster, I don’t remember it.

I headed out of our hotel meeting room to go shopping in the nearby Montgomery suburbs when I first heard the low rumble of a siren. At first I thought there was something wrong with the minivan I had been driving, that perhaps it was groaning under the strain of being beat up since it first emerged from the car assembly line and set up office at Thrifty Car Rental. I rolled down the window a little and realized the whine was actually coming from outside. Not having heard the wail before, I never thought that it could be a warning of an oncoming storm.

I continued my shopping as if everything was normal, only asking what was going on of the Office Depot employees at my final store. “Is that…a tornado siren?” I asked incredulously. “Yup,” the girl behind the counter replied. I asked her if I should be worried or maybe take cover and she simply shrugged her shoulders.

I stopped for gas on the way back to the downtown hotel and that’s when I became frightened. The woman behind the counter inside the convenience store insinuated that I should most definitely protect myself and that after what had happened in Tuscaloosa early in the year, anything could be possible. The whipping winds and sheets of rain outside the windows did little to calm my growing apprehension.

Determined to make it safely back into the bricks of the hotel, I stupidly bravely headed onto the highway. My hands were gripping the steering wheel, white knuckles gleaming and I drove slowly past the cars that had decided to pull over to wait out the storm. The rain came down hard and the wind whistled as it attempted to push the minivan from lane to lane. It was quite possibly the scariest drive of my life so far, and I was constantly looking overhead for the telltale conical tornado.

Fortunately, I made it back to HQ with only a light drizzle coating my car. When I disclosed my discovery of the whining tornado siren, no one in the meeting room seemed to have noticed anything. It felt like I had just returned from some strange Wonderland experience, and no one had noticed my absence. At least I survived a possible tornado.

Montgomery (252nd new thing).

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Day Two Hundred Fifty-Two I made my way for the first time to Montgomery, AL, to work as a production assistant on a car commercial. I realized while driving my stinky rented minivan into the city that I had actually been near the area before. As I passed the “Alabama Shakespeare Festival” sign on the highway just outside the capital a faint memory of attending the festival in tenth grade emerged from the corner of my brain. I most remembered the charter bus ride back to the suburbs of Atlanta and how I rested my head against the window and wrapped myself in my sweater, only to find a massive knot on the side of my head hours later when I awoke. I had effectively been beating myself in the head for the entire journey, the vibration of the bus acting as a constant mini hammer.

But on Day Two Hundred Fifty-Two I actually made it all the way into Montgomery proper, through its one way streets and historic markers, with the trunk of my rental loaded with gift bag supplies.

Montgomery itself seemed like a nice enough city, with a river and walking district near its capital building. But I stayed on the outskirts of town and apart from driving people much more important than myself to and from their hotel, I didn’t spend too much time in the downtown area. Should I ever find myself there again, maybe I will take a stroll along the riverfront.

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