The Best of the Super Bowl's IT Commercials

07-Feb-10 2:45 PM by
Filed under Television; Comments Off on The Best of the Super Bowl's IT Commercials

The Super Bowl is about to begin, and for many people, the main attraction is the commercials. Since recent studies show that a three-hour telecast of a football game has only 11 minutes of actual gameplay, this evening will be a greater bounty for advertisement viewers than for sports enthusiasts.

If history is any indication, it'll be an especially good evening for geeks. Computerworld is running a gallery of ten favorite IT commercials from Super Bowls past (and two terrible ones). Yes, Apple's iconic and much-parodied 1984 ad is there — how could it not be? — but I think my favorite of the lot is "Cat Herders", reminiscent of one of the AFI's funniest films of all-time, City Slickers:

Meanwhile, Network Associates' ad came 15 years after that seminal geek film, WarGames:

What are some of your most memorable Super Bowl ads, from either this year or ones past?

Davis Advertising and YOU!

18-Dec-08 3:46 PM by
Filed under Films, On Stage, Potpourri; 5 comments.

I can't help but admire movie actors who are able to convey so much emotion and passion, because I know that the filmmaking process induces almost exactly the opposite. Big-budget films require inconvenient locations, long hours, and scenes shot seconds at a time, making it difficult to maintain energy from cut to cut.

I experience few of those challenges in my own avocation as a stage actor. Most of my work is in musicals like Brigadoon, or comedies such as Run For Your Wife!. But a good actor is a diverse one, and I try to reflect that in a portfolio that includes other media as well. I've worked on the silver screen before, but only as an extra, a role that's easy to miss. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to star in a commercial.

Davis Advertising of Worcester, Mass., recently wanted to create a short video for digital distribution in online and media press kits. They sent out some emails, which eventually circulated to a friend with whom I'd been in the chorus of the musical Camelot five years ago. When he saw that they were looking for a "clean-cut, Richie Cunningham type", he immediately thought of me — proving it's not who you know, but who knows you. A few emails with the advertising company and an agreement to shave my beard later, and I had the part.

Working with just two men behind the camera and only one in front of it proved a much more enjoyable experience than being a film extra. We were able to shoot multiple takes, change angles, and improve and improvise rapidly. I've been told that I am a good physical actor (think Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain), and the format of this commercial suited that strength; I had all my lines down in no time flat! An hour of shooting and we were done — and a month later, the following commercial was unveiled:

(For those curious, the stock footage comes from the PSA "Are You Ready for Marriage?". Hat tip to Kahm!)

Thanks again to Jeff at Davis Advertising and Clyde from Sterling Community Theater for this, my first-ever commercial. It was a great experience and a new one to put on my theatrical résumé. I look forward to doing more such work!