DP's "Brick and Mortar"

Photos from the "Digital Press Videogames" store at 387 Piaget Ave in Clifton, NJ.

This album is unlike any other in this series - it is a photo journal of the making of the Capital One "What's In Your Wallet?" commercial that was filmed at the Digital Press store. The place was modified to fit the commercial's plot and camerawork. In the end, it doesn't really look much different! Click any photo below for a larger view.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009: the Production Director and her team of technicians tear down sections of the store to make room for the equipment that will ultimately take up the entire front of the store. Lighting effects are built on the set, special "fake" game posters and displays are unveiled, and things get shuffled around to set up the shooting which will take place the following day.
Early in the day I got a peek at the visual script. There's a condensed version of this at the bottom of this page. I'll admit to being a little queasy as things were being packed away. The whole front of the store ultimately ended up in a storage truck for the next 2 days. Phony game art and displays were created to take the place of the real licensed stuff that previously decorated the store.
 I think they did a great job with this stuff, though you'll barely notice it in the final product. The production crew was very careful about labeling and photographing everything before taking anything apart. This is the back wall... where are all my hooks?! Early in the day, a fake game store name was going to be used. Later, they asked to use the Digital Press name and logo on everything. Again, it will be pretty hard to spot that in the final product.
A workbench is being set up, which will be used to create some of the lighting effects. All of this licensed material has to be taken down, even though this particular corner of the store is ALWAYS behind the camera. On the left, a mechanical arm is being built into the ceiling. This will drop down a huge "Capital One" logo on cue.
The top portion of the island, which we cut a hole into to put a television monitor, is filled back in again since there will be "firework effects" here tomorrow. The Capital One sign is affixed and the swinging arm tested. Another one is added to the other side of the island for the MTV logo. Every single poster was removed and replaced with one of those "fakes".
The window area is turned into a makeshift cafe. Union break! As the front of the store begins to fill with equipment, other things are moved into the back. I love that Elfin Realms standee (which I now own).
Parking spaces are disrupted to the befuddlement of the locals. The "laser guy" Dan Cohn began testing his equipment mid-day. Things are really piling up. It's not looking much like a game store anymore, is it?
This is the laser guy's station, hidden from camera behind the bargain bin island. It was almost surreal to see the store this way. Check it out - the "World of Nintendo" sign that normally hangs over the back wall is replaced by a generic neon sign.
Laser effects! During the testing (and filming the next day), most everyone on the crew was given special filtered sunglasses so the laser beams wouldn't burn out their eye sockets. This is where the shot would ultimately happen - from behind the center island, onto a sheet dropped down from inside the island.
End of day 1. WHAT A MESS. VIDEO: The crew breaking down the store and putting up some of their own stuff.  
Friday, February 20th, 2009: The stage is set, and the day of shooting starts early as director, producer and actors join the technical staff on the set.
A tent and this catering truck were set up in the back parking lot at 5am. The crew supplied their own power, run from a truck outside to this box hidden in the cubbyhole behind the LAN center. The front of the store is draped in black curtains to block out the natural lighting.
Giant wooden planks are mounted to the wall, these would be used to hold four big-screen plasma TV's. Sadly they did NOT leave those behind. Extra personnel on the day of shooting. The director (left, with glasses), camera director (center with hat), and producer (next to him). The main camera is mounted on tracks. They even brought their own carpet so none of this stuff was actually sitting on our floor.
The director introduces some of the key players and lays out the day's events. As he is describing safety precautions I nearly trip over a power line. The actors take their places. The next set of pictures were taken in and around the day's shooting session.
  VIDEO: The director discusses a piece of the story to the producer; the camera guys and laser effects are prepped; "fake" games are laid out on the set. VIDEO: The final product!
Bonus Item: This is page 1 of the visual schedule used by the entire crew during the course of the day. Bonus Item: This is page 2 of the visual schedule used by the entire crew during the course of the day.

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Last updated: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 10:33 AM