, April 24, 2024

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This is How We Make Commercials

  •   2 min reads
This is How We Make Commercials

Vincent R. Pozon

We make commercials in cold caverns,
stick figures are given faces and frowns,
we add flesh, clothe the intention,
design the momentary wrinkle,

I enable them, they mouth my words,
wear my vision, they will know
dissatisfaction with products,
the laundry soap that is cause
of the misery of their lives
and why they are unloved so.

Here work breathes like the ocean,
there are the massive swells
needing mind, needing all limbs
paddling, and the held breath:

"Quiet on the set.”

And then the work fades to almost naught,
hardly breakers, licking the beach
without froth:

"Mark that last take."

The work and the walls own us
as we add bulk to an idea,
spreading designed life like thick butter,
a generous layer, second after second.

The tragedy at sea, the basketball melee,
the trade wars between giants,
the volume knob of news
is twiddled to zero,
the insulation is craft, serious,
furrowed brows.

While shooting for fast food spaghetti,
news of a military coup whispered
through thick sound-proof doors.
Outside the barn, the sky was falling,
but here, here we bothered ourselves
with how meaty we wanted the meat sauce,
how glorious we wanted a serving.

A benefit to attending shoots is that they are respites from the woes of the world. It isn’t remoteness -- preferred studios are just a kilometer or two from the office. The insulation is nose-to-the-grindstone attention to detail; it grips the mind selfishly.

I remember shooting a commercial, and the news that leaked into the studio was that Secretary of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile and Gen. Fidel V. Ramos had broken with the president, and were holed up in a military camp. (A note to foreigners: that moment was the birth of the revolution that ousted Ferdinand E. Marcos).

This is a blessing of craftsmen: the noises of an angry world come from that place where the horns of trains come from.

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