4 Days in the life of Me!

Day One : From Here to There…..

Most of my days begin with me jumping on a flight to …. wherever and I always get a little alarmed when flying as generally I get stuck next to another passenger who, (a) can see I’m reading or working or listening to me choons and still asks what to cook for his gluten free Nana with no teeth, a late developing nut allergy and who happens to be coming over for lunch at the weekend!  Often though, even though a little miffed, I do tend to pick up a fees valuable foodie lessons here and there.

This morning on NZ510 (my usual commute) to Auckland, with a spare seat between us, the gentleman passenger and I, by way of a quick nod exchanged a silent agreement, to not talk, chat and travel in comfortable silence – ahhh! Perfect.  So straight into the commute with no fuss, up, up and away and 2.5 hours a short taxi ride from the airport and I’ve arrived at Ogilvy (advertising agency, Stanley Street, Parnel) with 6 changes of clothing ahead of me and a photo session for the Spring, Feed 4 for $15 about to commence.

Team : Me, Nat (Producer), Vinnie (Make Up), Craig (Director of Photography),  Jamie and Ning (client in this case – Countdown).

With 80’s music pumping (thanks Craig), to keep us up beat and cheerful, we knocked out 1000 shots, over 6 different outfit changes, pink, orange, grey (with panels – yuk) electric blue, purple, coral all with the help of the perfect cooking accessories, wooden spoon and spatula!

For sustenance, fruit, whittikers choc bars, lemon water and for inspiration the best of Atlantic Records Music – niccee!

The lovely Craig!

The lovely Craig!

Vinnie for face and bod! Craig - the hero shot!

Vinnie for face and bod!
Craig – the hero shot!


Day Two : Studio Shenanigans

What a motley band of advertising soldiers we are together.  Almost the same team as my first ever shoot, straight from the MasterChef studios, back in the day on Smart shopper which was, terrifying on the shop floor.  I used to have heads popping up from behind bags of potatoes and old ladies surprised I was ‘a lot bigger then the 2ft 4 person who regularly appeared on their telly’s, every Sunday night, stressed to the max on MasterChef.

So our band of brothers and sisters : Gazza (Director), Chris, (DOP), Matt, everything, and I mean everything technical, Ange – very important roll (food stylist), Bryony (stylist of everything else set wise), Kate, (Producer) and a smattering of Progressive decision makers, we’re just like a little family now, as we can often spend up to 12 – 14 hours together, locked in a room (studio), filming – we all know each other warts and all very well.

Today – exciting times!  We’re filming 4 ads for the Feed Four for $15 Spring Campaign. We used to film in Parnell at Sachie’s Kitchen, but all change and now we’re tucked neatly into Main Course down by Federal Street.  It’s a beautiful kitchen with exposed brick, natural light, and a lovely copy of Jax Cooks on the shelves, my kinda spot.  Filming kinda goes like this.  I get picked up from me hotel around 7.30 ish.  Straight into make up with the lovely Paula (we met on set of MasterChef). Then wardrobe, with Paula again.  A run through with Gazza and Chris to check dialogue, lighting, glasses (reflection – a real pain, but the guys are so used to in now). Then we get on with the business!

Cracked out the first ad, quick and sharp, looking forward to my Jerk Chicken lunch from Bird on a Wire, Ponsonby, it better not let me down!

Main course, ready for business

Main course, ready for business




Day Three : On The Shop Floor, Staff and Customers N All!

Getting down on the shop floor to film is where all the fun with the customers and staff happens.  We film during the day down the aisles where customers are going about their daily shop.

I have a little bit of a superstition, started on my first shoot, didn’t realise the whole team knew until recently, but I have to walk up and down every aisle during the course of the shoot otherwise I don’t think it will go well!!  So here we are at Countdown Mt Roskill – nice store, really tidy, new and sparkly.

For some reason when filming in store, the banter amps up 100 fold and it wasn’t any different with today starting with my ‘What Week Is It’ Wind Up for our producer Kate.  I texted her from my hotel staying I had slipped in the show and thought I had broken 2 fingers.  Left her to stew for about 2 minutes before sending another text asking ‘What Week Is It!” – Wind Up Week! HA! To which she promptly replied ‘you ****** bitch’.  A great start to the day.

Filming an intro with Brett today – which is always good to have some energy to bounce around.  He’s good crack and loves a chat!

Also the customers – mmm there are some good ones strolling down the many aisles of supermarkets.  Today was no different and Catherine approached me.  (Remember, I’m miked up so the whole team can hear any type of dialogue – especially Gazza who has a wicked sense of humour).  As she approached, she stuck out her hand, the stickiest 5 digits I have ever had the mis fortune to shake!  She gave me a recipe on How to Roast Potatoes, without any mess.  Weird!

Often, between shoots, we all go a little stir crazy and a trolley can become a Darlick, or a basket something else.  Check me out here, with my impression of Darth Vader – ‘Brett, I am your father…..’  hahaha.

Darth Vader in drag!

Darth Vader in drag!

The team, including CEO, Director of Finance and 700 hot, hot plates!

The team, including CEO, Director of Finance and 700 hot, hot plates!

Filming promptly finished at 5:30.  Straight back to the Heritage, shower, change of clothing and off to the

Langham to help plate up for the TVNZ Media Awards, only 700 people to be fed in 20 minutes – bring it on.

I love going to the Langham.  Executive Chef, Volker, the stern German on MasterChef is as placid as a puppy and we are great friends now, and behind the scenes at the Langham is like a 2nd home to me.

Rewarded after with a visit to the delicious Cafe Hanoi, Britomart!


Day Four : There to Here…….

Another early start for a day of filming in-store, this time, just fill ins, hand shots and dialogues, before jumping in a taxi back to the airport and back home.  So there you have it; what, how, where and when I do my adverts, just part of my very blessed life!