Yes indeed, that is me in the new TV ad for Hibernian Aviva Insurance, thanks for noticing. (Thanks Will, for the video link). It was indeed a challenging, but enjoyable experience as I endeavoured to bring my starring roles to life with an injection of enthusiasm and personality I felt would suit them.
In December I was part of the shooting over a weekend, where I played an investor involved in the bank runs in the 1930s, an emigrant from 1950s Ireland and a dole queue participant in the 1980s. Two full days shooting (9am start Saturday, 6am call time the Sunday) for such an integral part of the advertisement.
In case your eagle eyes missed my starring roles, here they are:
Me heading off across the broad Atlantic foam:
Looking for my bank money:
In the dole queue (with the rest of the Commitments):
Now, in case you think i'm joking, it was quite a revelation to see how much time, effort and money went in to creating this ad - how many extras, how many costumes and how much time we spent filming in order to get those brief few seconds.
The 1950s emigrant ship scene was shot on the Liffey very early morning. This iwas probably the most fun to do. There were some 200 people there for a few hours providing tourists who had braved the cold with some pretty unique shots.
The level of detail was impressive, from the 1950s costumes
right down to the real-looking fake cow they had suspended from a crane above the boat.
How did I look? Like a gombeen. Or me grandfather. After the funeral.
The 1930 bank scene was shot up on Cathal Brugha street. A call time of 9am to be in Temple Bar, a shooting time of 2pm and a finishing time of approximately 4.30. The overhead shot was achieved with some fancy camera angles
And some angry looking men. Considering how long we'd been waiting to move, this wasn't much of a stretch of our acting abilities.
How did I look? Like a gombeen. Or me grandfather. After the funeral. I play that part well.
I don't seem to have photos of the dole queue scene. Considering I'd spent the morning emigrating in the freezing cold, my fingers probably weren't working. Not to mention of course that digital cameras weren't invented in the 1980s...
I did, however spot this on the way home through Temple Bar. A photo opportunity if ever there was one...
Being an extra, though at times a lot of standing around is fairly easy money. If it's something you or someone you know might be interested in, check out MovieExtras.ie. A brilliant (Irish) service where Derek, Don and Claudine would be happy to look after you.