Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Dramatizement

It's a bit long for a commercial, and not really an infomercial so much as a lengthy commercial (perhaps 7 minutes or so) dramatizing the need for the medical services supplied by the advertiser. Would we call this an advert-drama? Have we just coined a phrase?

The first day of filming this -- maybe dramatizement? -- was, for me, at the Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces. The hospice is down a rather sorrowful block of Montana Avenue. Slowly driving down this lane, one notices a retirement home, assisted living facility, the hospice, and -- sitting prominently in the middle of everything -- Baca's funeral chapel.

It was an odd location because this is, in fact, a working hospice. We filmed a scene in an unused room, walking lights and camera equipment past occupied rooms trying to raise the least ruckus possible.

The woman cast as my mother is in fact 15 years older than me. She looks great for her age and I don't, so she could pass for my older sister.

As we waited (which is 90% of what actors must do on a film set -- wait, and don't get in the way) I wondered where the actress playing my wife was. Eventually we were told she could not make it and rewrote the scene so that I was speaking to her on my cell phone.

After the day's wrap, I got a call saying the actress could not make it at all, and filming at our other locations -- scheduled for tomorrow -- will now be delayed until they cast another wife for me.

Well of all the things for an actor to hear! "We are having trouble finding a wife for you, Mr. D'Ammassa."

Cue up Tom Waits. (Note to Sarah: joke!)


Mandy_Fish said...

Maybe they should re-cast your mother as your wife?


Kelly said...

I was thinking the same thing as Mandy.

There's an ad on TV where the sister and brother are getting their mom a walk-in bathtub. The brother looks more like the sister's father. It bugs me.

Algernon said...

Dear Kelly,

That is exactly what casting directors don't want to happen! If you're thinking about the casting, you're not being seduced by the product!

quid said...

Never heard this Tom Waits before and really enjoyed it.

My position (obtained last December) is with a local, 4 county hospice. Oddly enough, our resource centers and overnight facilities are not located near nursing homes or funeral homes. We do have one of each in the largest 55+ center in western Florida. The outside looks much like the one above. Generally, the land has been donated by the family of someone who needed our service. Thus, they are in well-kept parts of our cities. Interesting, the variety of your work.