Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mr. De Mille, I'm Ready For My Close-up

When I got to the gym today, there was much more action than usual. Turns out they were filming a commercial.

I was there to take a group class, but I was a bit early. I went to the locker room and put my things in a locker, then sat down at a machine to do a bit of exercise while I was waiting for the instructor to arrive. A woman carrying a clipboard came up to me and asked if I was going to be there long. I explained I wasn't, but she still had me sign a waiver form in case I showed up in the background of one of the scenes.

There was a small section roped off in the middle of the main room. The object of interest seemed to be a plate machine, although they'd also moved an abdominal machine close to the first one and perpendicular to it. A large light provided enough illumination to make the immediate area much brighter than normal. A camera mounted on a massive tripod stood next to the light. Several technicians were fiddling with the equipment while an official-looking man ordered them around. Two actresses were in chairs by the front desk having their makeup done. They were pretty normal-looking, which I think the target market this gym is going for.

When the instructor for my class arrived, I moved to the group class room. It has a glass wall in the back that overlooks the main area, so I was able to occasionally look behind me to check on the progress of the filming. It wasn't all non-stop action. The actresses would take their places, get some instruction, and "work out" for a few seconds before they stopped. This was repeated over and over. All the people in the class were feeling sorry for one of them; it looked like she was working so hard! Later I found out she was actually using foam free weights--what looked like a 45 pound disk was actually just a couple of pounds.

They class ended, and I headed for the locker room (going the long way so I "accidentally"walked in the camera's path). I showered, changed my clothes, and got all my stuff together. As I left the building, the crew didn't show any signs of being finished with their filming.

I suspect the commercial will start airing after the first of the year, just in time for people's New Year resolutions to kick in. After watching all the work that went into it, I'm looking forward to watching it.


  1. I think for gyms their "black Friday" must come @ the beginning of January. So many people with the best of intentions...

  2. Kathy-with my acting skills, I'm certainly destined to always be part of the scenery :-)

    Sydney-never thought about it that way before, but you're right.

  3. How exciting is that! Hope you get to be in that commercial!