The opportunity to participate, much less watch, a Maytag commercial come to life was truly a once in a life time experience for me. The amount of work that takes place and the extreme attention to detail was truly mind boggling. Watching a scene being repeated 6-7 times, including the one I was in, to get it “right” was really eye opening. When I see the finished product, both a 30 and 60 second commercial, it will be fun to reflect back on what it took to get each scene right.
The trip itself was incredible. Being met at the plant by a driver, staying at a hotel right next to the Santa Monica Pier was great. I left the cold weather of Ohio and within one hour of landing at LAX was on the beach running 3 miles. I was close enough to walk to the Pier and the Third Street Promenade (shopping and entertainment area) and was able to do that on two nights. When everyone from the other plants arrived we went to Wardrobe where I was given a gray shirt and black arm guards to go with my regular work clothes. The t-shirt I am wearing during the shoot is a Whirlpool Marion shirt. The person doing ward robe selection was Halla, she has worked with Katy Perry and now me. The 3 days when the commercial was shot were extremely long but I was able to meet the other winners (Sue from Amana, Russell from Lima, Andrew from Clyde and Sherry from Tulsa) and sit in a special viewing area to watch the magic happen.
The three days we were on location I was asked to be ready (dressed in clothes selected by Halla) and go to makeup two of them. Yes I had my own dressing room with name on the door. As for makeup, they never put any on me, while some of the others from the plants looked transformed. It will be interesting to see how this looks in the actual commercial cause it looked awesome when I was doing it. It took multiple takes but I was glad when it was over.
I got to work/visit with the Maytag Man (Colin Fergerson) all three days on set. Colin was great to work with and was very approachable. He spent a lot of time with the Maytag plant group during the production. He has real midwest demeanor and is a great representative of the brand.
Not all the trip was shooting the commercial, we did have one down day. On Friday we took the day and first went to Mann’s Chinese Theater where they have the star’s hand and footprints in cement. Harry Potter’s prints are really close to Roy Rogers and Triggers. There was no wet cement, so no hand prints for me. From there we went on a Hollywood Stars Home tour. It was interesting to see how approachable the stars of yesteryear (Lucy Ball, Jack Benny) homes were compared to the compounds that todays stars (Katy Perry, Justin Bieber) live in. We then went to the LA farmers market for a great lunch. The back to hotel to explore Santa Moncia.
After 4 very busy days it was time to get up at 4 am to meet my driver and go the LAX for the trip home. A driver deposited me back at the Marion facility 131 hours after I had left.
The commercial will have its debut in July and is to air nationally.
–Mike Jones, Sportswriter