Over the next few weeks that followed, an audition for the commercial was held where both Jaime and Jerry were asked to try out, and having been the ones to create the thing, they landed spots easily. Mike was asked to audition as well and quickly made the cut. The final version, which combined both their script and some improv from the actors wrapped up in June and looked a little something like this:
This is an unaired version of just Jaime and Mike's cuts re-edited by Lyn-don McCray:
New York International Latino Film Festival Promo Shoot
On the weekend of July 4th the commercial was released to AMC theaters around NYC. People who ventured to see Dark Knight were greeted by the witty catchphrases of my boys. Another catapult to stardom was the release of the commercial to Time Warner Cable channels. I started to receive feedback that the commercial was viewed on TBS, TNT and the Food Network. But, it was the week leading into the festival that brought the spot to air during the Today show. As I stood brushing my teeth, I overheard "It's about a girl from the Bronx" come from my TV and ran out (brush still in my mouth) to watch the commercial in its entirety. There's something incredibly gratifying about seeing the faces of your friends/clients on the tube and it not be an appearance on the local news.
Before we knew it, the week of the festival had arrived. It all began with the opening night/red carpet for the premiere of "American Son". Jerry's face was plastered all over welcome signs and volunteer badges, while Jaime appeared on the badges of filmmakers. These still shots, taken during the commercial filming, were everywhere and semi-creepy after a while, but nonetheless they only demonstrated how closely associated the guys were with the festival. Jaime you forgot your badge? No worries! Just go stand next to a filmmaker and smile, they'll let you in.
The red carpet frenzy wasn't entirely new to me considering I've worked them as a runner in the past. What was different was seeing the likes of Daddy Yankee and P-Rod (Paul Rodriguez's son) walk down that fuzzy crimson walkway. The majority of the celebrities were Latino (shocker!), and although the title of the festival clearly indicates the films must in some way relate to Latinos, this was still new to me. Furthermore, seeing a young woman nearly pass out from extensive bouts of crying after passing by Daddy Yankee, made me do a double take. What world is this? Who cares! I love it.
Wednesday's premiere of the short film "Sandman's Box", was a proud display of the hard work created by my good friends and colleagues. Watching them all up on the big screen, or knowing they were behind the camera, was an exhilarating experience. Not to mention I forgot how mentally horrific the premise for the film was and nearly spent most of my time hiding my face behind my hands. It was a scary as hell masterpiece.
(Cast, director and producer of "Sandman's Box")
The next five nights consisted of juggling red carpet interviews, attending premieres and making new friends. By Sunday we were all burnt out and wrapped the week up with some laughs, some awards and some great memories. I could consider that I was pretty involved in the festival this time around, but something tells me they haven't seen the last of me ;-).