Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Buster's TV Ad: 30 Seconds Of Fame

Well, now I've gone and done it.  Regular readers know I have regularly taken issue with various conservative political ads, posting them here only so I could rip them to shreds.  Now I've allowed the campaign for Richard Cordray, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate, to use me and my story (well, 30 seconds of my story) for political purposes. I was happy to do it.  The spot began running statewide this morning. Any of my conservative readers may now proceed to rip me to shreds.

Some out of state readers may be unfamiliar with Rich Cordray.  He's bona fide.  Cordray has been a State Representative, Ohio Solicitor General, Franklin County Treasurer, Ohio Treasurer, Ohio Attorney General, and the nation's first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Additionally, he's a five-time champion on Jeopardy, and is the brother of my son's orthodontist!  Really.

Cordray has been a staunch defender of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, and its requirement of  non-discriminatory coverage of pre-existing health conditions.  Our family has been covered by the ACA since it first rolled out in 2014.  Cordray's Republican opponent, Mike DeWine, is a longtime foe of the ACA.  He doesn't give shit about those of us with pre-existing conditions.  In his first act as Ohio AG in 2015, DeWine sued the Obama administration claiming the ACA was unconstitutional.  He lost.

My little campaign ad came about when I was emailed by a friend and regular reader.  She'd been in contact with people in the Cordray campaign.  The campaign was looking for first-person stories on the importance of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions.  She thought of me.  I shared my story, one thing led to another, and there you have it -- me on TV.  Many thanks for reaching out to me, J.W.!  I'm pleased with the way the spot turned out.

Shooting the ad last Saturday was quite a process.  The crew was small -- a videographer, a lighting tech, and an interviewer -- but for a 30 second spot, they were in our house for three hours.  Roughly half that time, they were trying to decide where to shoot this and that, and how best to light the shot.  Spent probably 45 minutes in unscripted conversation with Jon the interviewer.  It was slightly intimidating.  Jon was right in my face, maybe two feet in front of me.  A big, bright lighting rig was just behind him, shining down on my follicle-challenged pate .  The video camera with its red light was over his shoulder.  "Always look at Jon.  Don't look at the camera."  Hard to do, but I tried.  The interviewer did lead me to the part about DeWine suing to overturn Obamacare (a good point which I may have come to on my own), but other than that it was pretty much unstructured chit-chat.

The crew spent rest of the time shooting what they referred to as the "B-roll" -- no-audio clips of "routine" activity:  "Go to the medicine cabinet and take out your pills.  Do it again."  "Flip through that stack of medical bills."  "Don't touch your chin."  "Hug your wife."  They called the opening few seconds of me staring somberly the "hero shot."

They also wanted some sort of family shot of me, the lovely Mrs. Gammons and Buster Jr. doing something together.  We settled on making coffee, of all things.  It does not take three people to make coffee, but pretended it did.  Alas, that shot is on the cutting room floor and Buster Jr. is pissed!  Sorry, son.

The whole thing was quite the experience and a lot of fun.  I hope it helps, but who knows.  I still haven't caught it on TV myself, but a lot of friends and family have.  Apparently I'm all over the airwaves today.

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