It's been eight months since we filmed six TV ads for Buy West Eat West's 'Good Choice' campaign.
It feels like such a long time ago we were pulling an all nighter to film the ads at the Claremont Farmer Jacks Supermarket and it's incredible to see the ad in so many places even to this date: buses, bus shelters, digital retail screens, billboards, magazines, continuous full page print ads in The West Australian and more!
I could never have imagined I would be given such an interesting opportunity!
I remember the afternoon so clearly when my co-star ex-classmate Dale sent me a text to invite me to participate and I certainly said yes. I was in my mother's apartment trying to distract myself whilst my mother was running around like a headless chook trying to remember last minute things to do or pack before she and my step-dad took the bus to the international airport for their yearly flight back to France.
The timing was epic! Instead of addressing the huge knot in my stomach and the tears in the back of my mind at the thought of missing my beloved mother for the usual five months, I was focused on texting Dale and this amazing TV filming opportunity, although like Dale, I had no idea exactly what the ad was for until it was time to attend the set.
We were being paid for a twelve hour shift and wow it was exhausting! We were especially tested to our limits from 4.15 am until finish, when the bone chilling temperatures of pre-winter combined with continuous refrigeration in the meat department made it almost unbearable to stay sane, in addition to the lack of sleep so early in the morning. Most of us hadn't been able to enjoy the luxury of a nap prior to filming, due to the constraints of work the day before.
So from 4.15 am when we were filming the pork scene which we imagined wouldn't take long, we ended up filming some 15 takes which was completely frustrating. Michael, who played the leading consumer role of selecting produce that was grown in Western Australia, was seemingly copping the brunt of our grumbling.
Sometimes he wasn't picking up the cut of meat correctly, there was too much discolouration or fat showing through the packaging, the barcode was showing, the price was showing, it needed to be held more upwards when it was in his hands, he couldn't get a good grip on it when he reached the meat department fridge to retrieve it, it slipped out of his hands and went flying across the floor (I think it happened on two occasions but it sure was a good laugh that we needed!) Of course it wasn't really much his fault. That's what filming is like and crikey, it's certainly not an experience I will actively seek to repeat.
But I'll admit that it's a lot of fun to see the ads. Every now and then, Dale will message me where he's seen it, whether it's a digital retail screen outside a Woolworths store in the city, today's The West Australian newspaper or on the big digital billboard in the new Yagan Square on opening night (wow !!!) but it's not something that I am ever recognised in, unless it was someone I told. And that's quite okay with me.