|The MGA With An Attitude
Barney in a BP Commercial - 3.6 MB = 30 seconds
Much ado about no time to spare, so don't blink.
The story about how I ended up in a BP commercial is a lot longer than the commercial itself. There are four 30 second flicks which first aired during The Amazing Race on October 4, 2005. I'm only in one of them, so that's the only one posted here. About 5 seconds into the run I'm there for just 2-1/2 seconds, so don't blink.
This is a 3.6 MB .mov file which requires a media player for viewing. I use Quick Time Player (free download), and an older version 6.5.2 because it works under Win-98SE. If you need it you can find it at www.tucows.com. QT Player may be a 12 MB file, so if you're on a dial-up modem you could be in for a slow grind.
On Aug 15, 2005, a couple of search agents showed up at our monthly MG club meeting looking for "ordinary people". After the meeting there was video taping of interviews with several volunteers, and someone sort of shoved me in front of the camera to answer a few questions. The second or third question of several was, "How old are you"? With only a second to respond I started thinking out loud. "Well, my first car was an MGA when I was a sophomore in college in 1968, so I've been 19 for 37 years now". That did it I guess. On Aug 19 I got a call for an appointment.
On Aug 23 I went to a casting call in Chicago where I sat and grinned for several minutes while answering more questions in front of a video camera for several inquisitive people. Apparently someone thought I was interesting (or maybe just "ordinary"). On Aug 25 I got a confirmation call and another appointment. On Aug 29 I spent an hour in wardrobe in Oak Park. The next day I was back in Oak Park for a minor face touch up, and then spent 10 or 12 minutes on an empty film stage answering more questions, this time in front of a real camera. I spent more time filling out paperwork than everything else, but still less than two hours total (not counting travel time).
A few weeks later I got a check in the mail. On Sep 30 I received a courtesy call to let me know the commercial would air on Oct 4, 2005, and "Whoop, there it is!". One more page in the archives of the MGA With An Attitude. They sent me checks again every three months for a year and a half until the commercial stopped airing. Apparently that was a fairly valuable 2-1/2 seconds of my time.
This deceptive little package looks at first like a block of styrofoam with a paper face cover and plastic wrapper. Upon opening the package, it turns out to be a compacted T-shirt, a give-away advertising item.