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Making cauliflower fly...

Harvey Wallbanger

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So there's this production company from Japan that calls us every now and then with some crazy request. A few months ago, they wanted to make a jelly commercial that featured pieces of fruit flying around New York city. For reasons that I never really understand, they always want to shoot in New York, and they are not willing to use CGI, even though it would look fine for the things they want to do and cost them way less.


Anyway, we made the fruit thing work, and apparently "The Emperor" (their boss, back in Japan, who they are all terrified of) loved it. Last week, they called and said that they want to do a similar, but more complicated, commercial (this one is for mayonaisse, which I hear they put on everything) that has vegetables flying around the city. So this week, we built and tested a few rigs to make it happen. We shot a test with one of them today, and if the emperor likes how it looks, they want us to build a larger version for the real shoot.


We started with some very simple concepts, like using a fishing-pole-type-rig, but this didn't really look right.





It became apparent that we would need to build some sort of suspended frame, so that we could set up the whole thing on the back of a truck and not have to worry about vibrations and shit.



Here's us, doing that.




See? It looks like it's floating!



Once we got everything set up, there was nothing to do but drive around the bumpiest roads we could find, and see if it looked steady on camera.



It did.



I went for one ride on the camera truck, which was really boring. Then we came back to the parking lot, which was our base of operations for the day, and a few of us stayed and played with some local cats that live there while everyone else went to do more tests. We also drank beer, because it was really hot and we had been outside all day.




This dude was the king of the yard, and he pretty much ran the show as far as the smaller cats were concerned.


There was a kitten with a hurt paw, and I fed him some tuna fish, but my camera battery died at that point. You'll have to take my word for it I guess. Then we bet our boss that he couldn't throw a cabbage across the parking lot, over a fence, and into a dumpster. He tried, but was way off, and almost shattered the windshield of a brand new cube truck. He seriously missed it by inches, and dented the hood (which made a really loud noise). The owner of the building came out and yelled at us.



My job rules.









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Harvey has been steady bringing the funk in ways the funk has not been broughten in a very long time. Major props dude.


I've been involved in a fair share of commercial shoots, but never something as awesome and magical as flying vegetables. We don't have budgets in PR.

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We don't have budgets in PR.



Everytime I see you post about PR it makes it seem like it is a fantasy werld...Pretty much a rainforest with bacardi waterfalls filled with big booty'd beautiful PR women and no budgets...aka heaven...

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Picture a caveman, or a starving 3rd-world Somalian or something, coming to New York for the first time and, amidst all the baffling wackiness and cement/metal skyscrapers, he sees, mounted on the back of a strange vehicle, a giant elaborate framing system with a head of cabbage suspended in the center. Not only that, but a handfull of people intently watching it.



The confusion would be epic. Awesome thread.

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Yeah, you should have seen he looks my partner and I were getting while we carried that thing around the city. We built the majority of the frame upstate, at my bosses house, and then we had to strap i to the roof of his jeep to drive it down. It looked like some kind of really elaborate, enormous cauliflower transporting device.



I'm glad everyone seems to enjoy these stories about my absurd life. I haven't even told you guys the good ones, like when I thought I had been tricked into being a patsy for a terrorist plot, but it turned out I was just working on Flags of our Fathers. And that other thing that happened.

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