Quite a few years ago I used to do Commercials in Sydney, Australia. My favorite one was for AAMI Insurance Company who were famous for their funny commercials.
The day dawned beautifully as I headed out to the shoot, which was being done at a local airfield which had been closed for the day. I got into costume and met the director who went through what I was to do. Simply, I was to be a Dad at a circus food stall with hyper kids wanting everything in sight. Behind me is my parked car and on taking a quick glance around, see to my unbelieving eyes, an Elephant smashing the back of it. I’m then to stagger toward the beast/Cut to my now repaired car in my driveway.
No problem, sez I.
Setting up the ‘Circus’ went well until the elephant was brought in and walked across the runway, smack in front of an aircraft which obviously hadn’t heard that the Airfield was closed. He made a hasty overshoot and went elsewhere! No one asked him what he thought of a Elephant blocking his way!
Other bits got shot and finally came the moment for the elephant to do her stuff. I had met her early on and got friendly by means of copious amounts of candy-floss. Anyway, the Director calls ‘Action” and I start ordering the kid’s food with, of course, my back to the action.
Then I hear ‘Cut, Cut!” and the Director goes over to the handler to find out why the elephant wasn’t stamping on the back of the car. The handler explained that the elephant had been trained on a BLACK car and this one was RED, so the elephant didn’t want to be in trouble for stamping on the wrong one! He also explained that he had to use a Thai command that the elephant can never hear again, otherwise it would promptly stamp on the trunk of the nearest black car!
Well, the handler somehow persuaded the elephant that it was OK to do the job, so Take 2! The director reminded all of us that they only had one shot at it because they only had the one trunk lid. It went well at last and we all breathed a sigh of relief. So the old adage is not quite true. I loved that day!