Lights… camera… action… Something many people dream of hearing as they take center stage on a video production for television or the silver screen. Even with today’s numerous “reality-based” television shows, it is still a difficult business to break into, especially living in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania. What happens when Hollywood comes to you and your life? How infrequent and rare is that? Are the odds of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning better?
Enter Robyn (Thomas) Hempfling, the somewhat shy and reserved, blond haired, blue-eyed, Production Supervisor at Dynamic Manufacturing in Freeport, PA. She was selected as a finalist in mid-May to tell her own personal story in a documentary-type commercial being produced for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. A variety of commercials with the “Clean Coal Powered Electricity” have been airing on TV during the early months of 2010.
Robyn’s story was a natural fit for the ongoing campaign because her story fits with what many Americans are dealing with in today’s economy. Businesses like Dynamic Manufacturing are facing increased competition, and low-cost electricity from coal provides a company like Dynamic Manufacturing an edge. Absent coal in the energy mix, energy costs could increase making businesses unable to compete in the global marketplace and put American jobs at risk.
The producers of the commercial, Synthetic Pictures, came to the Pittsburgh area seeking the perfect person(s) to portray their story and ultimately wound up at Dynamic in hopes of finding a star for the next round of commercials. They spoke with three Dynamic employees and really zeroed in on Robyn almost immediately. The deal was sealed when Robyn mentioned that she was getting married only a week later and the crew asked if they could come to the wedding and film and she agreed on the spot. Of course, she had to clear it with her then-future husband, Glen. She also told the producers of the beautiful timber framed home that Glen had built and their love of quad riding around their home which is located near Morraine State Park.
Filming began the day of Robyn and Glen’s wedding. The film crew was small and inconspicuous so as to not draw undue attention. They looked like typical videographers simply filming the wedding. Since Robyn and Glen had already delayed honeymoon plans until later, filming began for the documentary style question/answer portion of the commercial at Robyn and Glen’s home on Tuesday, May 25th. Robyn was overwhelmed with the film crew, sound technicians, hair and make-up artists, lunch organizers and all of the vehicles required to move the people and equipment.
Filming continued on Wednesday, May 26th at Dynamic Manufacturing. Robyn was filmed working on her own and in other footage of her simply smiling. They also shot some manufacturing processes at Dynamic including the wave flow soldering equipment, the flying probe testing equipment and the surface mount automated machines.
More footage was taken on Thursday, May 27th for other scenes of Robyn working with other Dynamic employees at their work stations.
The final shoot was on May 30th. The video crew met at the Hempfling’s home to film them riding their quads. Besides one of the vans getting stuck in the mud, the session went off without a hitch.
The commercial is currently being edited and produced at the studio and is scheduled to debut later this year. Robyn is happy she was able to take part in the commercial. Who knows what may come next?