The San Francisco Giants fans were yelling like crazy, slapping high fives and jumping up and down. Two things in particular were amazing about this scene. The first was that they were sitting in the rain as they did this. The second is that they were not watching any game. They were sitting in the seats of AT&T park a couple of months before the first game of the season would be played there.
I had the chance to spend a day last week as an extra in a series of San Francisco Giants television commercials. Using twitter and facebook the Giants rounded up 300 fans with nothing more than the promise of getting in a commercial. There was no promise of payment, tickets or even lunch (although about 5 hours in at 2pm they did pass out hot dogs and sodas). It is at times like this that I am reminded that we get our word “fan” from the root word “fanatic”. The day was cold and dreary and quite often being in the commercial meant sitting in center field yelling while the camera was at home plate. They would move us from section to section sometimes for the same commercial we would be sitting in 3 or 4 different places that the digital effects wizards would merge to create a larger crowd in post production.
I don’t know if you have had a chance to watch a commercial, a television show or a motion picture being filmed, but let’s just say that somethings can try the patience of even baseball fans. Eventually the skies opened and it began to rain. The crowd of extras diminished to around 100 by then, but isn’t it amazing to think of a business that can find 100 people willing to sit in the rain to help it out? Does your business have fans like that? I have a volunteer who is a listener of the Amateur Traveler podcast who has been transcribing various episodes. Now I might sit in the rain for a brand I like but I can’t imagine doing transcription. Another podcaster I know, C.C. Chapman of Accident Hash, was surprised when his listeners put together a 5th anniversary episode for him to celebrate the long running show.
At one point Giants pitcher Sergio Romo came and sat in the stands with the fans in the rain. He was not in that particular commercial, just another face in the background with a Giants cap on. It was a class act from a classy guy and when he comes into the game this year you can bet I will be cheering him on. I want him to succeed. I want his team to succeed. After all, I am a fan… and you know what that means.