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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Lights! Camera! Action! Take 2! — (October 2002) Actually, this is not a real Take 2 but an addendum to last issue. For those who came in late, I was chosen to be a part of a Standard Life commercial. Last issue I summarized the entire process up until the point where I was told which lines I'd filmed that would appear. We continue from there :)

I knew the commercial was supposed to start airing the week of September 9th, 2002. I also had a fairly good idea of which stations would be carrying it. The fact that it would be National and not just local really felt good. It ensured friends throughout the country would see me! :)

Anyhow, the week before, a video cassette was given to everyone involved in the commercial. I took it home and it was a copy of all four commercials. Gave me a really good idea of how it would look on television :) I went around visiting family and friends to show them. Then, a few days later, a Ticket Stub was delivered to everyone in the company. It simply stated that it was a Pass to a sneak preview of something big. Then, a couple of days later, a package, similar to those old 5 diskette boxes was delivered to everyone in the company. Opening it, we were greeted to a mini bag of Kernels popcorn and a CD. Popping the CD into our systems, what comes on but a "Making Of" mini-movie on how the commercial shoot came to be! All four commercials as well as all the print ad campaigns were on the package along with a "Making Of" documentary. It was an absolute blast!

After watching it for who knows who many times, I got the idea to grab some screen shots of it so I could email them out to people so they knew what to watch out for. After all, when you're on the air for about 3 seconds in a 30 second commercial, it's easy to miss :)

It was an absolute blast. Have I mentioned that already? :) We spent the better part of the morning walking around talking and chatting and I told everyone who wanted to listen all about how the scenes were mixed together, which one came first, etc etc. Loads of fun! :)

A few weeks later, our internal magazine (Perspective) was published and distributed. It had a special feature on the campaign! Once again, my pictures were printed up for thousands of people to see! On the cover, even! :) And then, the entire issue was made available on the intranet in PDF format! Cool beans! :)

How much more could I take? Well, September 9th came and we started keeping the television tuned to CFCF as much as possible in order to glimpse it. We saw some, but not the one I was in. That came 5 days later as Chantale and I were watching China Beach on the History Channel and there, at 11:45pm, on the night of Friday September 13th, we saw the commercial with me in it. What a total freak. My heart raced after skipping a few beats, a huge smile spread on my face, and I could only stare dumbfounded at it all :)

We couldn't catch it any more often, but every other night during China Beach, there I was. That was really something for me because that show is one of my all-time favorites. It has the honour of being the first television series to make me cry. I taped a few episodes just to have my commercial on it (I already have most of the shows on tape from when they originally aired :) ). From then on, we managed to catch the commercial a lot more often on other stations. Chantale even called me at work once to tell me I was on TSN :) And much more recently, while having supper at her parents, the Alouttes game was on and sure enough, I stopped our meal conversation to point to the television where the 6 of us (us, her parents, her sister and sister's boyfriend) turned to look at me say my lines. This, the day after a slew of people at church told us how they saw me. Needless to say, I'd been blushing for quite a while :) Basically, this entire experience just kept and keeps getting better and better. I got my 15 minutes of fame, and it actually spread itself out much longer than that. Life is good :)

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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