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Wal*Mart commercial


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#1 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 02:24 PM

Not sure if it's playing past christmas, but I just found out that one of my Wal*Mart commercials has been airing in theaters. It involved a guy rushing to a Wal*Mart at the last minute to buy a gift after he shows up at a christmas party giftless.

Anyway, I have no idea how it came out as I was not involved in any pat of post. It should look pretty good as we shot it on HD framed for 2:40.

If anyone saw it let me know!
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#2 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 03:17 PM

I think I know the one you're talking about. Is this the one where they sing "the Twelve Days of Christmas"? If it is, good work, that's a funny commercial. I saw it quite a few times in Chicago.
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#3 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 10:32 PM

Yes, that's the one. It's called "12 Minutes."

Glad you liked it!
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#4 Joey Daoud

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 11:27 PM

Yeah, I've been seeing it during the movie pre-show and in the theatre lobby. I'm not really a fan of Wal-Mart but the commercial is great, well done.
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#5 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:26 AM

Good work, I saw the commercial a few nights ago and thought it was very funny.
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#6 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 03:14 AM

Yes, that's the one. It's called "12 Minutes."

Glad you liked it!



Eric, I had no idea it was HD. Good job. I wish you well on "Juno" and look forward to reading about the production.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 03:21 AM

Good work, I saw the commercial a few nights ago and thought it was very funny.


If I ever see a Walmart commercial in a movie theatre I will stand up and scream until it is over. In Canada, they don't allow stores to carry more than 49% product from other countries, in the United States, we let Walmart do as they please and carry all foreign product if they want to. Wal Mart destroyed a Rubber maid plant in Ohio that needed to pass on a price increase on the price of resin to it's distributors. Wal Mart said no, took Rubber maid's product out of all of their stores, and the Rubber maid plant closed down, and all of that manufacturing equipment was sold, to china.

Anyways, irrespective of that, congratulations on landing such a big job.
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#8 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 11:41 PM

Umm, yea. There were some crew members that also had 'opinions' which they kept to themselves.

Nevertheless, they gave the director tremendous trust and creative control. The director and I also did last year's theater spot for Wal*Mart. It's great to do work for a company who can afford to air it to mass audiences. So frequently in commercials companies will spend all this money on fantastic spots but not be able to afford to air them very often.
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 12:24 AM

Umm, yea.

lol.

There were some crew members that also had 'opinions' which they kept to themselves.

Well, it appeared they did say something under their breathes, do tell.

Nevertheless, they gave the director tremendous trust and creative control. The director and I also did last year's theater spot for Wal*Mart. It's great to do work for a company who can afford to air it to mass audiences. So frequently in commercials companies will spend all this money on fantastic spots but not be able to afford to air them very often.


This has always been a fascinating topic. What percentage of the total advertising budget should the commercial production budget be?

If the total percentage of the production of the commercial is too low, then one ends up seeing a potentially subpar commercial way too many times. If the total percentage of the commercial production is too "high", then one potentially has a great commercial but it doesn't air that many times.

When I was first interested in directing commercials, I used to try and get the client to tell me what their total budget was, I would painstakingly explain that my goal was not to get as much of the total budget as possible for the commercial, but to find the ideal budget to where they would get the best bang for their advertising buck based on how many times they planned on running the commercial and how much they planned on spending on the air time. I discovered that in the world of local commercial production the clients hadn't really considered this and it really puts the commercial production company at a big disadvantage. I don't want a crappy low budget commerical endlessly running as my calling card to get other work, and if we do an extra good job but have taken up too much of the total budget, the commercial may not air that much and the client might consider the whole venture a failure no matter how good the commercial came out.

I used to try and come up with what I considered to be the magic percentage between commercial production budget and advertising budget and I think I ended up figuring that the production budget of a commercial should be around 8-12% of the total amount that will be spent on the advertising of the commercial. Exceptions to this rule are commercials that are designed to make a huge splash (such as the super-bowl) and will only be seen a few times, or a sometimes a cleverly written commercial can come out real good, not cost much, and end up running for quite a long time.
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#10 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 02:09 AM

Eric, knowing your reputation as a cinematographer, I have no doubt that your camera and lighting work contributed greatly to the commercial’s overall form, but the content is quite bothersome. As cinematographers we are the drivers, if you will, of the vehicle that is story (in the case of an ad, a commercial story).

The message….
Examine the vehicle before you drive it and… Hollywood, it’s time to wake up!!!




www.hel-mart.com
www.walmartwatch.com
www.wakeupwalmart.com
www.walmartmovie.com

Edited by Danielle Frankinshten, 28 December 2006 - 02:10 AM.

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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:19 AM

Eric, knowing your reputation as a cinematographer, I have no doubt that your camera and lighting work contributed greatly to the commercial?s overall form, but the content is quite bothersome. As cinematographers we are the drivers, if you will, of the vehicle that is story (in the case of an ad, a commercial story).

The message?.
Examine the vehicle before you drive it and? Hollywood, it?s time to wake up!!!
www.hel-mart.com
www.walmartwatch.com
www.wakeupwalmart.com
www.walmartmovie.com


I lay the responsibility more on commercial television, which won't ever make a demand to their advertisers; such as less SUV ads and more economy car ads, or mandating that MPG ratings MUST APPEAR in each and every car commercial they run. Really not a big stretch considering they put in fine print all the contract stipulations at the end of the commercial anyways. Heck, I'd want Walmart to display what percentage of product in their store is actually made from beginning to end in the United States.

There will always be a bean counter trying to balance a television stations budget and the last thing they want to hear is that they want to establish advertising content criteria.

Why not have a "green" television station? Why can't one television station in this country have the guts to start such a trend and focus on advertising that acknowledges the planet has finite resources.
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#12 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 12:14 PM

I lay the responsibility more on commercial television



The potential for change lies with the masses and a general social consciousness. You can always play the blame game.
-------
Our task is to prevent the present generation, torn asunder by its conflicts, from becoming perverted and from perverting new generations. We must not bring into being either docile servant of official thought or scholarship students who live at the expense of the state ? practising "freedom."

Ernesto Guevara
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#13 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:32 PM

-------
Our task is to prevent the present generation, torn asunder by its conflicts, from becoming perverted and from perverting new generations. We must not bring into being either docile servant of official thought or scholarship students who live at the expense of the state ? practising "freedom."

Ernesto Guevara


Kill them all in the finest Old Testament tradition.

---Che and the Prophet Samuel
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:44 PM

-------
Our task is to prevent the present generation, torn asunder by its conflicts, from becoming perverted and from perverting new generations. We must not bring into being either docile servant of official thought or scholarship students who live at the expense of the state ? practising "freedom."

Ernesto Guevara


A Robbespierre for our age:

"Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become ?"

---Ernesto "Don't call me Ernie" Guevara

"He was appointed commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison, and during his five-month tenure in that post (January 2 through June 12, 1959),[20] he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, among whom were former Batista regime officials and members of the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities" (a unit of the secret police know by its Spanish acronym BRAC). According to José Vilasuso, an attorney who worked under Guevara at La Cabaña preparing indictments, these were lawless proceedings where "the facts were judged without any consideration to general juridical principles" and the findings were pre-determined by Guevara.[21]"

---Wikipedia
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#15 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:51 PM

I?m sure Eric is amused by the direction this discussion has gone.

I propose a new section, ?Propaganda: A cinematographer?s Role? to be added immediately to this forum.



And, yes, the Batista Regime can burn in hell!
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#16 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:37 PM

Wow, all I said was "Wal*Mart" and it's become a Michael Moore documentary.
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#17 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:42 PM

And, yes, the Batista Regime can burn in hell!


Perhaps Batista and Ernie have adjoining suites there.
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:52 PM

Wow, all I said was "Wal*Mart" and it's become a Michael Moore documentary.


aka flogumentary
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#19 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:37 PM

I just read the most amazing article about Walmart. I found it incomprehensible at first. If I were a tremendous comedy writer and made up what Walmart is apparently doing, I'd probably get a lot of laughs and a 3 picture deal...


If you want to exercise your incredulosity gene, read about all about it...

http://www.bloggings...time-employees/
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#20 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 02:33 PM

Wow, all I said was "Wal*Mart" and it's become a Michael Moore documentary.


Eric,

You really should know better than to expect anyone to discuss cinematography around here ;)
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