Remembering the Night Janitor

I was sorry to hear that actor John Hostetter has passed at age 69. He may look somewhat familiar in this picture from the 1980s, on the left. Not long after this, he got his big break and joined the cast of TV’s Murphy Brown. Later he appeared in a Star Trek movie.

I was excited to be at the production of Magic 98’s first TV commercial, in which the “night janitor” takes over the station. It turned out to be 36 hours of chaos. NBC15's PM Magazine decided that the creation of a TV commercial for a radio station would be interesting, so a crew joined me for the trip to Los Angeles. We were to arrive at 10PM and report to the studio the next morning. But the flight was delayed and we arrived at 4AM.

With one skilled actor and a capable crew handling sound, lights, camera and special effects, how long can a 30 second TV commercial take to produce? About 10 hours. See the finished product here. (If you had trouble with this link before, please try it again. It should work now.)