We are ready for our close up Mr. DeMille
It all started around August 15, 2013, when we were contacted by a representative from Match.com, who owns OurTime.com, the dating website where Dick and I met. Nichole asked if we would be interested in appearing in a television
commercial for the website. She had been referred to us by another person who posted our story on the website Today.com, the website for the Today Show. This came about due to Martha Stewart going online on Match.com. Naturally, we told Nichole that we were indeed interested. Our story has been featured on various
websites, newspaper articles and a radio podcast out of Boston, so this seemed like the next step up the line for us.
Over the next six weeks, we had conference
calls with Brendan, the producer, Chris, the director, Nichole and writers and others. We finally agreed on a date for the film shoot, Monday, September 30, 2013. In the meantime, the location scout, Kevin, came to our house one Saturday morning
and took pictures of our pictures and the inside of our very small house and we chatted for about an hour or so. When he left, he said he would be sending the pictures to the producer and director. Kevin called a few days later and asked
if I knew the people in the big house in front of our little house. I told him yes, they are our landlords, we rent the back house from them. Kevin asked if there was a chance they would let the film company film our interview in their living
room. I said I would ask, since I knew our place was way too small. Roberta and Bill were very gracious and agreed to allow the filming in their home. They also have a lovely outdoor living room patio.
Our contact person was, Brendan, the producer and he would call with information or requests. The next request was for the wardrobe gal, Joyce, to
come to our house to see the clothes we were planning on wearing and to take photos of us in the clothes. The appointment was set for a Saturday morning and that appointment lasted for about two hours. Joyce, a very likable, energetic gal, was the wardrobe
lady. Dick and I tried on about 5 different outfits and she snapped away with her camera taking tons of pictures. Before she left, she wrote down our sizes in case they sent her out to purchase new clothes. She submitted the pictures to Brendan
and Chris for their approval. Joyce said she would be here with us the day of the film shoot.
Nichole was representing the client, Match.com, and was flying in from Dallas, TX for the film shoot. She was quite excited about being in Coronado since
she had always wanted to come to Coronado.
We were told that Sunday, September 29, 2013, some of the crew would be arriving. They were set to meet with
us around noon but were delayed because of flights. Some of the crew were arriving from Columbus, Ohio, where they had just finished filming another commercial. Our landlords were away at a function, so I was to let the crew in the house.
They arrived around 1:15p.m. When I opened the door to let them in, they just kept on coming through the door saying their name and shaking our hand. It reminded me of my early teen years watching the Mickey Mouse Club in the afternoon after school.
They would introduce the Mouseketeers...Bobby, Darlene, Annette, Cubby......you get the picture. I believe there were 12 in all that day. We did get to meet Brendan, the producer and Chris, the director, in person after just talking on the phone
previously. They were all very polite and friendly.
Once inside our landlord’s home, they looked around, had Dick and I sit on the couch
(where the interview would be held). They decided which furniture needed to be moved or changed around and the best angle for the lighting. They came to our home and took all pictures that showed Dick
and I together. They borrowed the pictures and made duplicates, then put the pictures in frames they supplied and these would be placed around the living room for the interview. In other words, to make the house look like ours.
Brendan said they would be back to start on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 9 a.m. with the Art Department there first and at 10 a.m. the other crew members would be
there and around 11 a.m. they would be ready to film us.
At 9 a.m. on Monday, September 30, 2013, the Art Department crew was already setting up on the sidewalk
in front of my landlord’s home. A very large truck was parked on the street for carrying their lighting and sound equipment. They had a canopy tent set up and all of our pictures in frames set up. The house was inundated with members
of the crew. My backyard lawn became the base camp set up area for Brent. They brought in a 6 foot long folding table and Brent set up his computer, printer, scanner and other paperwork. The crew had walkie talkies or were wired up for sound
communications already. Joyce showed up with her wardrobe rack and hung our clothes on the rack. There was also a garment bag with a nice array of new men's clothes if needed. Dick got to wear a very nice sports coat for one of the scenes
and they gave him one of the new shirts that he got to wear. He didn't get to keep the sport coat. I guess they figured my clothes were okay. We ended up changing into three different outfits that day for different scenes and locations.
Weeks before when Kevin, the location scout, was meeting with us and he mentioned wardrobe, I asked if there would be a makeup person and he said no. Well big surprise!
In walks this cute young gal with wild looking eye makeup and she says she is there to do my makeup. I had already put on my usual makeup that I wear, but she said she would just enhance it somewhat. She was pleased that my hair was done and she
didn't have to mess with it. Dick got a little bit of powdered foundation to cut down any shine on his face. This young lady drove down from Los Angeles for the shoot. Chris and Brendan finally let us know what they wanted us to wear for the first
There were people everywhere, around 28 to be exact and they all had a very important job to do to bring this together. I laughed when
I went out in back of our place on the street and saw the two portable potty's being unloaded on a trailer. They provide these for the crew, since that do not want them using the bathrooms in the homes where they are filming. There was also a big
generator just outside my back door off my patio that was up and running for all the lights they had placed on stands outside of the windows where we would be filmed inside. They had to get the lighting just right.
There is a walkway between our two homes that we use to visit our landlords, but they did not want the crew tromping through that way.
With our makeup
on and clothes ready, they finally called us over to the big house to begin the shoot. They also have a lady that follows the crew on some shoots. She is the caterer and supplies the food and snacks. She drove down from the LA area also.
She had snacks and sandwiches and Dick and I were getting hungry! No food for us, not until later. It was getting close to 12 noon now and our interview on film was about to begin.
Naturally, we had to be wired up with microphones and the young man doing that had a huge problem with the way Dick's shirt fit, it was a dress shirt. They should have chosen something simpler. The rest of the crew
sat out on the front patio/outside living room. They had their jobs to attend to. The big monitors were constantly being watched for any clothing glitches or anything not right.
Most days, I chew gum since it keeps me from getting thirsty. As we settled in for the couch interview, Chris caught on to the fact that I was chewing gum.....busted! The makeup gal kept running in to
update my makeup since it was quite warm and don't forget Dick's shirt that wouldn't cooperate. Every time they fixed the shirt, they would have to stop and fix the microphone inside his shirt. At one point,
the sound guy came in and said, we are really hearing Dick's heart beating very loud. That is when we explained that 17 years ago he had a metallic aortic heart valve put in his chest and yes, you can hear it beating louder than a normal heart.
The sound guy replaced the whole microphone unit that Dick was using.
During breaks they would bring us bottles of water and check to see if we needed
anything more. My landlord’s high school aged grandson comes over to their house for lunch most school days and he arrived at lunchtime. The landlords were in the kitchen and trying to stay quiet but it is amazing how you could hear the smallest
of sound. They had to stop filming a couple of times because of noise coming from the kitchen.
The real person who kept things running smoothly was Monty,
who was really a nice guy but would have made an excellent bouncer in a club. He kept the crew on the ball, kept them quiet when necessary and called the shots. He wanted to keep us as comfortable as possible.
We played it by ear during the interview on the couch. Chris would ask us questions and just let us run with our answers. We laughed and had a good time and you could see the crew were smiling too.
Out on the front patio was all the sound and video equipment. Big screen monitors and all kinds of lighting and electrical gear that it takes to make these films. Most of the crew were out there doing their jobs or just to "settle in" as Monty
would tell them. Wardrobe and makeup were always close by.
With the couch interview over, the crew started preparing for the next shoot, which would be
on the front patio with Dick and I dancing. We went back to our place to change into the next set of clothes we would wear and get more makeup refreshed again. We also took this time to practice a few dance steps in our living room. We were
always told to wait at our place until they called for us to come back over. This was so we didn't have to stand around and wait, we could sit and be comfortable at home.
Now it was time for part 2, the dance segment. Naturally, I had popped another piece of gum in my mouth by that time. We just pretended there was music, we just danced a foxtrot. As we were preparing to start, Chris noticed I was
chewing gum again, drat!! Suddenly, two people appeared with tissues for me to dispose of my gum. Busted again! We started dancing and smiling at each other and laughing, while the crew was following us with the sound mike and the lighting.....it
was getting a little crowded there. With this segment completed, our next outfits were chosen and we changed into the next attire.
We were assigned a driver,
John Hall, who drove us to the next shoot destination, which was down at the Ferry Landing in Coronado. Some of the crew and the caterer went ahead to the Ferry Landing parking lot. They had set up four tent canopies and had tables and chairs for
sitting to eat. The rest of the crew worked to return my landlords house back to normal with the furniture placement and to remove the film equipment. Same thing happened over in my yard where Brent removed all signs that he had been set up in
our yard. Even the two portable toilets on the trailer were hitched up to a pickup truck and taken down to the Landing area where they had set up for lunch.
the wardrobe gal had been using my camera to take shots earlier in the day and unfortunately, I left my camera at the house when we drove down to the Ferry Landing to do the next filming. She continued to take pictures with her camera and has promised
to send them to me. She was documenting the day for us with still shots, what a sweet lady.
Our driver, John Hall, drove Joyce, Dick and I down to the Ferry
Landing to join the crew for lunch. It was a selection of Greek food probably from Spiros down on the Landing. After lunch, they told us to hang out there under the tents until they were ready for us. It was then that I found out we would
be taking the ferry boat across the bay to the San Diego side. I had never ridden the ferry boat.
Our driver, drove us closer to the Ferry Landing pier
and we got out of the van and were met by other crew members. We walked to where the crew had set up and there were two tall director chairs for us to sit in. It was comical because quite a few people were sitting around at the tables and chairs
just lined up waiting to see who showed up to sit in those chairs. Dick and I started to chuckle when we saw what was happening. I had put more gum in my mouth earlier, but made sure that Chris saw that I was throwing it away. It was a bright,
sunny day and I was not allowed to wear my sunglasses during the filming.
The crew had a special park type bench they wanted us to sit on and they were still
busy putting it together. I told Monty that I was a bit disappointed since no one had called "Action" during any of the filming and he said, don't worry we will when you walk down the pier. When Chris was ready, they had us walk down one side of
the pier leading out to the ferry boat (which wasn't there at that time). As we walked holding hands and smiling and talking to each other, people were passing us looking and wondering what was happening. When we got to one point on the pier we
turned left to go completely to the end of the pier. We passed some people fishing and I said, "Smile, you're on candid camera". The sound guy was following us with the boom and the light guy with his light shield and of course Monty, who was directing
us what to do, with help from Chris back on the sidewalk. Then we got to turn around and walk back doing the same thing. When we got back a man came over to us to ask us what we were filming? Next, an older woman approached us, asking if she could
take our picture. I think someone must have told her it was a commercial for a dating site. She said she was going to send the picture of us to her children and tell them, "See maybe there is still hope for me".
Next came the scene on the park bench looking out over the water. You had to remember that everything we were doing was being
viewed on monitors by the director and producer and we were getting constant directions on where to look and what to do. We were supposed to ignore the camera guys who are right there in front of us or behind us. We threw in a few nice kisses here
and there.......gotta have some fun!
Here comes the Ferry Boat for the next pickup. Monty tells some of the crew who are standing at the front of
the passenger line to button up the line, we are on our way. Naturally, we go to the front of the line and the makeup gal is there to freshen up my lipstick (after those kisses) and people are wondering what is going on. One gentleman in a wheelchair
was waiting to board the boat and had been watching us when we took our stroll on the pier for the film. He asked, "I just want to know, are you a real couple"? I told him yes, we met online 5 years ago and were married in February of 2010 and
that is about as real as you can get.
Just a few of the crew, mainly the cameramen came on the boat plus Brendan, Chris, Nichole and Monty. They were wanting
to film without drawing attention to the fact they were filming. So that was very low key. Some of the passengers figured it out and I'm sure wondered who Dick and I were. It was a nice smooth ride, for my first ride on the ferry boat.
They decided we would not take the ferry back but would stay on the San Diego side for a bit to shoot some more scenes. They called the rest of the crew to button it up on the Coronado side and to come down by the park and parking areas just past
the Midway Museum Ship.
They filmed us walking up and down the wooden boardwalk, with all the tourists trying to figure it out. We rested a bit and the
crew got ice cream from a little stand (we didn't want any) and Monty got us a bottle of water and chairs to sit in. They decided we would walk down around the corner by the Kissing Statue. This is the big statue that represents the photo of the
sailor kissing the nurse at the end of the war. The statue here in San Diego is probably 20 feet tall or so. They asked us to walk out along the grass towards the statue and then turn around and walk back. Before we walked back, I told Dick,
let's give them something to film. Let's recreate that kiss right here, right now, so we did! The crew laughed and gave us a thumbs up and I think they captured it on film.
At that point in time, they said "It's A Wrap!" and our magical day of being movie stars was ended. We said thank you to the crew and there were handshakes and hugs goodbye. Our driver, John Hall, was there to take us back over
the bridge into Coronado and back to our home. It was 5:45 p.m. and even though it was a long day, it was a wonderful, exciting day that was full of surprises. Dick and I had a wonderful time and are looking forward to the commercial coming out
in about 3 months from now. Match.com will send us a special link to the commercial and they also post these commercials on YouTube.
The next day, our landlord told me that several
members of the film crew told her that Dick and I were their favorites. Monty loved the banter back and forth between Dick and I and the comments he and Dick exchanged. Dick loved it when we were at the Ferry Landing and Monty said, "I love you
man" and Dick told him, "I think we should take our show on the road". The entire crew was a joy to work with. It was a day we will never forget.
There were two different commercials. One was a montage with us and two other couples. It was the first commercial to air in October of 2013. Our commercial
had two different versions and aired from October of 2013 until early March of 2015 for 1,271 times. It appeared on many different stations but is no longer running. If you check on YouTube under OurTime.com commercials the montage commercial
is still viewable under Joanie and Richard.