Monday, March 19, 2012


Like a GREAT PARTY… now all that’s left are the memories!

The A.I. / Ford Commercial Crew were here on Sunday!!!

The shoot lasted all day and into the early evening, but by 7:30 p.m. the last Honey Wagon pulled out of the neighborhood.

Anyone who drove by at 7:31 would not have the faintest clue that at least 12 trucks, 50 crew members and 10 talented singers were even here!

First, let’s get this out of the way immediately because fans of the show want to know!!!!

What were the contestants like?

All TEN SINGERS were so sweet, hard-working, and… completely adorable.


Now let’s go back to the beginning –

This is what my house looks like at 6:59 am –

By 8:00 a.m. this is what it looks like –

The surrounding neighborhood was invaded by a train of trucks, honey wagons, and trailers –

One of my neighbors got in on the action after he was paid to allow the crew to set up breakfast and lunch in his driveway –

BTW, breakfast and lunch was amazing! I had egg and cheese on a croissant!
For lunch there were three choices – Tilapia fish filet with Shrimp sauce… Cornish Hen… or BBQ short ribs. I was a pig and had both the Tilapia filet and the Cornish Hen.

What is it about trucks and food today? Will there come a time when a real gourmand won’t eat something unless it’s prepared by a chef in a kitchen that has at least four tires underneath its stove?!

The Ford Commercial crew preps the interior of the house for the shoot. Actually, the first thing they set up is what they call “Video Village.” My interior (back) courtyard is tented and turned into a place where the talent and members of the crew will be able to watch monitors showing the shoot while it’s happening.

Two bulletin boards are put up for the crew displaying the talent for the commercial and the storyboard of that day’s shoot.

As the first set up nears readiness, the walkie-talkies echo across the house for the 2nd ADs to bring the talent to the set!

Contestants, Heejun and Hollie, are brought to the house to block or step through their action in the first scene with the commercial's director. The scene (not necessarily shot in the order of the finished commercial) they will shoot will take place in my dining room!

In between shots, I’m able to get a moment with four of the singers – Joshua, Erika, Hollie and Heejun and I'm able to snap off a photo!!! Yeah, that's my dog, Maui, being held by Joshua! Maui just had surgery two months ago on her legs and is running around like the bionic dog! Bet Joshua ends up getting in at least the top five because he held on to Maui and got some of her Hawaiian Mojo!

Okay, the shooting officially begins! The first shot is fired off less than three hours after the cast and crew first arrived! And then the crew shoots like crazy! I mean I'm showing you photos that didn't have crew members as a "blur" in my photos... that's how fast they were moving!!!

This frenzy of shooting continues throughout the day!!


Many of the crew members walk around humming/singing the Beatles “Hey, Jude” because contestant, Heejun, puts the title of the song in everyone’s mind.

We did not get RAIN, but we got COLD throughout the day (and believe me, everyone feels blessed!). The Ten Contestants were constantly covered in blankets and put near heaters. Once "Video Village" was taken down in the courtyard (so they could shoot out toward the back courtyard) the talent was moved to my living room so they would feel comfortable. No one in charge wants any of the contestants to catch a cold that could alter the competition.

The Crew is amazingly organized prepping three areas of the location to shoot while another area of the house is being shot. I bring up how Ringo Lam, a Hong Kong film director, shot the same way on a film I wrote, “Maximum Risk.” Of course one of the crew people not only saw the movie, but his cousin worked on the production. Hollywood is very small. Thank God I wasn’t lying...

Watching a well-oiled machine like A.I. / Ford shoot this commercial allows you to appreciate the beauty of a system that has been in place for years. This crew moved through my house like a snake… every muscle knew exactly what the other muscles were doing at any given moment. The production company behind these commercials have been working with American Idol and Ford for years. But since every commercial is different in concept, there’s a renewable creative energy that fuels the production and keeps the snake from falling asleep after consuming a large rat.

Throughout the day, when I would walk around and see the crew members taking five minutes in between shots, most… no, wait… all would be checking their phones for messages, news, etc. I’ve been making movies for almost twenty years… and somehow I can’t remember what crew members did years ago in-between shots when there was no Internet… no Smart Phones! Maybe I can’t remember because I don’t want to -- I love the world I live in – a world where I have a horde of people shoot in my house… and I’m writing about it the next day… to… YOU!


I will have more IMPRESSIONS... MORE PHOTOS (INCLUDING PICTURES OF WHO I THINK WILL WIN A.I. THIS YEAR!!!) plus more INSIDE STUFF about the shoot on tomorrow’s blog posting…

But I leave you with adorable pictures of the ultra-sweet Elise loving both of my dogs, Maui and Buddha. (HAWAIIAN MOJO TO ELISE!!!)
ENJOY… Because…

I GOT IN TROUBLE right after the second picture!!!

I know what you’re thinking… how can the person who owns the house where they are shooting get in trouble???!!!


Well, technically… it’s the VALLEY… but who’s keeping score????!!!!!