Welcome to the wonderful world of television adverts. A lot of waiting around and a bit of action! Somewhat bored stars and heartily satisfied extras!
Around 150 hardy R&B souls with nothing more pressing to do (or really nice bosses) arrived ready to act as extras in the latest DB Draught extravaganza.
Well mostly ready, some hadn't quite got it right. For a starter you had to be over 25 - it was for an alcohol commercial!
So those who brought along the kids were pushing things a little. (Some would pay the price however.)
The other few who weren't actually wearing any red or black were a bit of worry. However the sponsors had a few spare tops to pass around so that was soon sorted.
So what actually happened?
Well firstly the team spent about 15 minutes actually getting onto the park. They dribbled on, with the main players finally arriving.
It seems that they had already had an intensive choreography session, as the were quite well organised and spent 20 minutes forming and reforming a huddle while various close-ups and trendy film-school inspired "moving into a huddle" shots were filmed.
Once this had been achieved they moved back toward our stand!
Finally we thought, some action. Yes there was, hold onto your horses folks, they are... going to repeat it all again with Super 12 jerseys this time!
Yeah (boo hiss) !!!
Thankfully our assigned film chick (Jane) came along to give us a rousing cheery welcome. She told us about our task and the planned finish of .
Her suggestion to ring any of our friends, in the greater
Then our mood altered as a DB Guy handed round the free beer vouchers. Slightly sweaty eyed with gratitude we settled down again.
Filming close-ups of individual star players started and the perving really began in earnest.
Ohh! Look, there is Meg Marshal on his cell phone. Isn't that Dan Carter just as cute as a button? Wouldn't you like to try that hunky Ben Blair on for size?
AND you should have heard the women!-)
There was a fairly even mix of guys and gals in the extras. Rather a few ecstatic smiles on the faces of both sexes!
Then in a fit of activity - action shots of tackle bag practice began. First they tackled north, but that obviously didn't work, so they then tackled south. Between each shot the DB Draught tackle bag (they only had one - closest to the camera of course) was lovingly sprayed and wiped.
About the only group of pikers left. They were a small party of 50-ish executives and obviously their lunch hour had finished. So now the hard core 145 fans were left.
We were soon rewarded as the team was once again reassembled right in front of us. It seems that the plan to film from the crane was given-away due to the growing Norí west wind.
Didn't worry us especially as the huddle was brought right up close to the stand and we were finally asked to form two circles around the huddle.
Now I don't wish to suggest that there was an unseemly rush of extras onto the field. However I did note that several people shifted seats when it was indicated which section of the stand would be invited onto the field first!
But soon we were standing in our two circles, only metres away from our heroes. The grins were only getting wider.
Before we actually got filmed, the director decided that the stand view just wasn't working.
So to Jane's delight, the circles were moved across the field towards the crane, until we were standing once again surrounding our heroes and the fun really began.
Over the next 40 minutes we practiced, we were filmed...
(All except for the father who's 10 year old boy couldn't stay conveniently out of the way. Dad thought he would just usher the boy back over to the stand, however he was asked nicely not to come back. Maybe he learnt the real value of a baby-sitter? )
We straightened the circle. We were filmed again. We were filmed just once more...
We waited for the wind to die down and then we had one more take. All the time we extras were having the time of our lives, much more fun generally than the Crusaders.
They looked slightly bored but fairly tight as a team. At one stage they were having a discussion about the Black Caps, and the relative stats of various players. Seems we aren't the only people in summer mode.
Then suddenly it was over.
Most people and players just disappeared.
However as I collected my gear, I felt a civic duty to have a word to some of the team - for your benefit you understand. There were three players in particular still on the field so I approached them.
Rueben Thorne had one of those "rabbit in the headlights" looks on his face as he signed a couple of autographs. I couldn't think of anything I could say to him that would make him look any different, so I chickened out.
If only I had brought along my autograph ball! I would have liked to have him add his name beside Todd Blackadder and Colin Meads. (I felt it would have been a fitting complement to him.)
I turned to Dave Hewett and Brad Thorne. I just knew I had to say something to The Brad-enator, even if it was inane.
So while still marvelling at the fact that he was only a head (or so) taller than me, I wished him good luck for the season.
His voice seemed to come out the ground somewhere below us as he replied. "Thanks mate. Hopefully we can do a bit better this year."
Er... yes, well it was really most impressive at the time!
Do you think that Dave Hewett was hurt by me not talking to him as well? I sure hope not, but I'm afraid I wasn't really thinking about his feelings.
I was busy wondering how I was going to make it back to the car - with my feet floating just above the ground!