Saturday, January 31, 2009
This is a layout of an ad that ran for the new 1970 Impala. We had come to LA with two photographers(Warren Winstanley and Dennis Gripentrog), two art directors (with me as one), two writers, and a bunch of assistants. Also we had several account guys to make sure we ad makers stayed legal and to manage a large security detail. Then there was a group of Chevrolet people in charge of the prototype cars that had been trucked in two big covered vans from Detroit. Lots of people staying in nice hotels with lots of day to day expense. The day we arrived it started raining. Then it rained the next day and the next and the next. Not just showers but real heavy rain. I became so worried about all the money we were spending without having taken one picture that I began saving the local paper with all the headlines about the unending rain. One morning I went down to the loby of our hotel and found water running down the steps leading to the desk. Out in the parking lot the vans with the prototype cars had water up to the middle of their wheels. The rain lasted nearly a week but it finally stopped and we went to the Screen Gems movie lot to make arrangements for the next days shooting. Warren Winstanley and I chose a brownstone location for an ad idea we had and made arrangements for the car, the models, the account guys, and the photographer with his assistants to be there. Finally we were going to get started. Bright and early the next morning we arrived at the location to find that it had rained again and the location was flooded. Everybody was there including the lady models all ready to make the planned picture. We all just stood around kind of stunned. Then I said we'll go ahead and make a picture anyway. What have we got to lose? I asked Dick ONeil, one of our account guys, to go back to the hotel and put on his suit and tie. While he was gone we pushed the prototype Impala (it had no engine) to a parking place in the water in front of the brownstone. Dick came back and we made the picture you see. It ran in all the major magazines of the day as a spread. The print you see here was layout quality not reproduction quality.
Below you will see another picture situation made possible by all the rain. Sometimes it pays to take advantage of what circumstances give you. Making ads can be and should be lots of fun. This whole shoot in LA turned out to be one of our very best.