Today, I’m in Austin, TX for a TV commercial we will be shooting for the US Postal Service. Spending 3 days in Texas is OK with me. Unfortunately, I will miss a staple of my past few Novembers. The Birthday ride. Originally started to honor a friend, it has now grown to honor a few November Birthdays including myself. So it was odd to not go to ride that ride.
The gist of the commercial is that for only one day a few members of the US Postal team delivers mail via bicycles. The day starts with them riding off the loading dock (literally jumping off of it) and off to deliver mail. They deliver mail to rural areas (dirt road), a suburban area and even an office building surprising a normally relaxed receptionist. After all that they return to the Postal branch where they started the day to get a compliment from the Branch Supervisor.
We started out with a 6:15 call to get picked up to go to the first shoot which was Pat and Damon riding down a spiral bridge crossing a river. This was the day I slept in the most as I later found out we were to get up even earlier.
Today’s main scenes are the rural delivery and the suburban delivery. Damon and new guy Pat McCarthy get to deliver mail as a “TEAM.” Part of the scene is them riding one behind the other. Damon rides by the mail box and opens it. Pat rolls by after and puts the mail in and closes it just as he gets wet by a lawn sprinkler.
The second scene shot today is Floyd riding down a rural road (dirt/gravel) and does a power slide flinging debris as he puts mail in and rides away. The funniest part was they wanted him to “Kick up” some dirt as he slid his rear wheel around. Take after take it went from good to bad to good to bad to OK to good. They decided to put a bit more dirt to add to the action only to have Floyd totally sand blast the camera operators and the two directors. Too funny!
I returned to the hotel at about 6:00 or so. Dinner with the guys her so far and off to bed. Whooooooooooo that was tiring. This industry epitomizes the phrase “hurry up and wait.”
Tony, who with Floyd flew in at about 1:30 in the afternoon, got the short end of the stick. He and Floyd got to the second set to get dressed. WE then drove 20 min to the next set and they prepared the Floyd/dirt road scene. Tony sat and sat waiting for his scene. At about 3:30 or 4:00 or so the director told Tony he was done for the day. No shoot for Tony today. All the early flight to make it and then told he was not needed then. Felt bad for Tony spending the day traveling for nothing.