Winter threw curve at Orioles' new ad

FREEZE FRAMES

March 25, 1992|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

If you've seen the new Orioles' commercial and thought the fans in the scenes looked a little blue, the problem wasn't with your television set.

When the scene was shot in the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the temperature was below freezing. The actors had to hold their breath so that it wouldn't look like steam was coming out of their mouths. Although some of the make-believe fans braved the weather in shorts and T-shirts, others were wearing long johns under their jeans.

In the month that it took to produce the commercial, Baltimore advertising agency Trahan, Burden & Charles had to cope with snow, frigid temperatures and construction at the unfinished stadium and make the scenes look as if they were taken in a completed ballpark in the middle of July.

With some carefully chosen camera angles, the agency captured Orioles Gregg Olson, Mike Devereaux and Joe Orsulak warming up in the sunny park, together with shots of happy fans entering the stadium and cheering in the stands.

"It was fun, and it was a challenge," said Kenny Klompus, assistant director of the advertisement, which was first broadcast Saturday night.

"To make it look like something that wasn't there, that's always the fun," he said.

Last year, the agency created the 1991 Orioles campaign, "Thanks for the Memories." This year's campaign has two themes, "Welcome Home" and "See You at the Park."

Both are phrases from the original music score that is featured in the 30-second television commercial and the 60-second radio spot.

"It's a patriotic sound," said Allan Charles, the creative director at Trahan, Burden & Charles and director of the television commercial.

"This is an exciting thing to happen in the Inner Harbor. The city should be proud of it," said Mr. Charles.

He would not say how much the commercial cost to produce.

The focus for the first half of the season will be "Welcome Home," Mr. Charles said. "This is the Orioles' new home, and we want them and the fans to feel welcomed."

Later, the emphasis will switch to "See You at the Park" and the television commercial will be freshened with new shots.

Shooting of the commercial began in mid-February, the day after two inches of snow fell in the city. The first shots were to be of the ballplayers before they left for spring training, and there was no time to reschedule.

Baltimore's fickle winter weather cooperated, and by midday the sun was out and the snow had melted, allowing the crew to get the shots of the players they needed, Mr. Klompus said.

For the next month, the camera crews hunted for exquisite sunsets at the park and tried to capture details while construction crews finished their work.

At least once, the agency was too quick to capture a new stadium feature. Mr. Klompus said the film crews shot pictures of the stadium's Sun clock immediately after it was installed. But they soon learned the clips were outdated when the crew visited several days later to find that Orioles decorations had been added.

Shooting of the commercial was completed March 16, and it was broadcast during an Orioles game on Home Team Sports cable television Saturday. The commercial will soon be shown on commercial television and broadcast on radio stations in the Baltimore and Washington areas.

"Welcome Home"

We're getting ready,

waiting for you,

yeah, we're ready, say hello.

One by one,

here comes the fun,

smile by smile,

come stay a while.

Welcome home, come on in,

yeah, we're here to say hello.

Welcome home,

gonna have a great time,

welcome home,

any day or night time,

welcome home,

gonna have a great time,

see you at the park...

We're getting ready,

waiting for you,

yeah, we're ready, to say hello,

Welcome home,

see you at the ballpark.

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