NOW FOR THE SHOW!
Every once in a while, my obsession with the world of nature takes a back seat. And so it was last week when I learned that a Subaru TV commercial would be filmed right here on the rocks of Joe's Head. (The picture to the left was taken adjacent to where filming was taking place). I was told that the action would take place in the hours before sunset, so I was there at around 4PM. I first ran into activity down in front of the Kelp Shed where a snow making machine was spitting out fluffy white snow to be used setting the scene. Big chunks of ice were fed into the machine and snow was collected in the backs of ATV's to be taken over to Joe's Head. Maybe snow making is old hat to you, but I couldn't stop smiling. Never mind that naturally occurring snow stood on the landscape, but in this case it had to be doctored to hide the footprints of filmmakers and their helpers. Can you make out the Kelp Shed in the back of this picture? The parking lot was filled with trucks and trailers which is very unusual for this time of year.
I proceeded over to Joe's Head where cameras were focused on the action. The commercial told the story of 3 brothers who set out to celebrate New Year's on a winter's night in their trusty Subaru. They parked the car and set up a small tent, also lighting up a fire in a loose stone fireplace (as Hermit Island is famous for!). I couldn't get too close, but I have to say these workers from as far away as Los Angeles were most friendly and hospitable in spite of the cold. I watched as they concluded the tent scene and focused on the fire while awaiting the sunset. To be truthful, it was very cloudy and I wondered if the drama of a sunset would have to be manipulated unnaturally at a later date. Meanwhile, workers shoveled the new snow to set the stage......(see below as they set up the fire scene).
I noticed a lot of "hand warmer" wrappers on the ground, but heard no complaints from the workers. Some even inquired about what it takes to camp here! Everyone seemed impressed with the beauty on every side.......the waves crashing on the beach, the snow etched rocks, and the threatening clouds. I warned them about the poison ivy, but some had already learned about those plants the hard way. Again, this isn't exactly California or New York City! In the picture above, the filming is taking place and if you look closely, there IS A SUBARU in the picture!
I met a couple of the actors who were smiling and dressed for the scene. Keep these faces in mind when you look for the Subaru commercial probably coming to a screen near you in October they say. Remember, they were dressed for the weather, and had "hunkered down" in that orange tent barely seen behind the Subaru in the background. They seemed to be having fun, just like me!
As they prepared for the final scenes, I decided to depart thinking the sunset looked like a dim possibility. I bid farewell, and climbed down over all the wiring to Head Beach for the walk back to my car. I kept looking over my shoulder, and began to realize there would indeed be a memorable sunset fitting to the occasion. It was as if the clouds lifted to set the colorful stage! Here is what I saw, and you may see if you catch this amazing commercial next fall........
In the glow, you see three brothers (the stars of the show) watching the drama of the sun descending into the ocean. Ironically, a shrimp boat was also heading back to the shore to add another moment of interest. On the right, you see a crane that was holding the camera. I am sure this was a memorable event for everyone involved, including me - an innocent, nature loving bystander.
I went back the next day, and only tracks remained from the activity of over 30 serious workers and cameramen. Joe's Head survived, and the sunsets will continue to serve like a magnet on these late afternoons in winter.
3/2/08 Ronnie in awe.......!