Thursday, March 19, 2009

The MASN Commercial Shoot

UPDATED NOW with still shots of the commercial taken off MASN Broadcast.

Even though we knew it was coming, the actual viewing of the television spot took us by total surprise. Last night, during MASN's broadcast of the pre-season game between The Florida Marlins and Our Washington Nationals, a few of MASN's new Nats TV Ads began to air.

And one of them features SBF.

Shot on February 18th, 19th & 20th in Hunt Valley, Maryland, myself along with 17 other fans for both The Baltimore Orioles and Our Washington Nationals were invited to Renegade Studios in suburban Baltimore to play out our selected roles. Nine fans from each team were chosen for the final takes. Six were invited each day. The producers & director asking for three hours of time, in studio, to put together everyone's ON-AIR spots.

My part in this paid gig was shot on February 18th and is the very reason why The African Queen and I were "Late" for Spring Training--as Jason Bergmann told us on February 21st.

Fans could apply for a spot by submitting an online application or, in my case, audition at NatsFest in late January. Baltimore Fans were offered the same opportunity to audition at The Orioles FanFest as well. The only reason The African Queen and I even knew about the upcoming commercials was due to a MASN employee walking around Nationals Park during NatsFest who was simply pulling people from the crowds and asking them to head down to President Club and into the Media Briefing Room to test before the cameras. MASN's Pete McElroy noticed my Screech'sBestFriend Jersey and thought it might play off well.

So, Sohna and I headed down. As it turned out, the Commercial's Director, Peter, and his crew were so excited over my Over The Top Audition, they basically hired me on the spot, asked me to fill out the waiver forms and gave me the dates for the final shoot. When we realized the shooting date conflicted with our scheduled Spring Training Trip to Viera, we pushed back the trip four days to accommodate the free lance assignment.

Eventually, the producers sent along a final script, which was completely different from the two ads auditioned for at Nationals Park. My story would be about Willie Harris and his hustle. How strange that My Main Man!! Ryan Church is one of the batters that Harris robs of a base hit in this ad. Standing on a completely Green Set on February 18th to allow for the digital field to be placed all around me in the final product--Peter directed me as to where to point. Three focal lengths were shot, including an extreme close up angle with a wide, almost fisheye, lens. As you can tell from the picture, Peter and I got along real well.

He liked how loud I was and unafraid of the camera. For each line, Peter asked for different inflections--multiple times. In fact, the final piece that aired last night, ends with me laughing over the exploits of Willie Harris. They must have had to make a quick exit out of that take, because when I sounded off those final lines in the studio, the entire crew of nearly 25 broke up in laughter as well.

The crew was having just as good of a time as I was. And that helped make the entire experience very welcoming.

Eventually, I read two more lines on camera for spot appearances in other longer TV Ads being produced for MASN/Nationals Broadcasts and was then escorted to another office where a make shift radio sound stage had been built. There, I was given ideas about Washington Baseball that MASN wanted to depict. It was my responsibility to put those ideas into my own words and call them MASN Moments--Radio Ads for 2009. Six total radio spots were produced involving me. But I have no idea if, when or where, any of those additional spots will air.

Sohna and I appreciated the opportunity MASN gave me to be involved in their On-Air Commercials for 2009. Knowing I gave it my very best; knowing the production crew appreciated my work; knowing that Peter was a blast to work with, and then finally watching the spot run on television last night was very, very rewarding.

MASN has promised to send me a DVD of the final spots.

PS--And if you were wondering, no The African Queen didn't audition that late January day at Nationals Park. She turned down MASN's offer to partake. She was having too much fun watching me, well being me, which she finds hilarious.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

Outstanding you were great! No Actor, but a genuine Nats Fan and it shows the fun fans have in Nats-Town. PP

Tom said...

AQ: And you said you could contain him?? Help!

Tim Taber said...


Jay said...

Congrats, you're famous.

Oh wait a minute, you're already are :-)

Seriously, way to go. Great to see this and thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just saw you tonight, and it looked great...and the jersey was great to see!

Anonymous said...

Next. Here comes the paperazzi.

Anonymous said...

Is the commercial online somewhere? I missed it.

Anonymous said...

I usually talk and shake hands when we meet SBF--now I'll have to get your autograph!

Screech's Best Friend said...

The commercials will play throughout the season on MASN and wherever else the network advertises.

Sam R said...


Saw your moment of fame on MASN tonight. Great Job! Mets are talking to themselves....Classic! Dropped it to DVD. Can't wait for the season to start.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!