Tuesday, June 18, 2013

George A. Romero commercials

I'm working on a couple new reviews for the site, hopefully to be finished and up here soon.  In the meantime...


Did you know George A. Romero used to direct television commercials?

Before making his classic debut Night of the Living Dead in 1968, Romero and his business partners had a company called The Latent Image, where they produced industrial films and television commercials in and around the Pittsburgh area.  Starting in 1963, they struggled a few years before making a break with their spot for Buhl Planetarium, which consisted of a rocketship landing on a moon.
I wish I could find that Planetarium spot, but what I can share is this video compilation of a few different TV spots.  The first is a political ad for a George McGovern campaign (I'm not sure which one) that is quite stark and downbeat.  It's quite unlike the rest of his commercial work, which is much more light and vibrant.  The rest of this video consists of an ad for the Guinness Book of World Records/Chevy Dealers, Awrey Bakery, the Magic Lantern grill accessory, and a nifty Calgon detergent spot, of which there is another slightly better video quality version HERE.

Romero also directed some local Pittsburgh beer commercials.  I can't find his Iron City Beer spot on the internet, but I did find THIS Duke Beer commercial.
George Romero's career would eventually head into feature films and he would become known as "the king of the zombie movies," directing classics like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead, not to mention lesser known but also great films like Martin, Knightriders, and The Crazies.
In 1998 he directed a short commercial for Japanese video game Biohazard 2 (known as Resident Evil here in the States) starring Brad Renfro and shot by Peter Deming, one of Sam Raimi's cinematographers of choice who also shot that movie The Carrier that I reviewed a few months back.  The zombies were provided by special effects artist Screaming Mad George, marking the only collaboration between these two Georges.  This commercial looks more like a short (very short) film and was Romero's return to the zombie genre.  There was a rumor that he would direct the feature film version of Resident Evil, but that gig went to Paul WS Anderson. . . and we all know how that turned out.  (poorly)

Anyway, here's that commercial.

Commercial Break is over.

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