HiawathaMediumLargeExpensive. Mercurial. Annoying.

We’re either talking Terrell Owens…or Gas Prices. Most of us have had it with both of them. Given the chance we’d do to O.P.E.C. what the Eagles did with their star receiver – put’em over a barrel and cut’em loose. Gas prices around the Twin Cities have been yo-yo’ing for months but have yet to creep below that coveted two bucks a gallon figure.

The Hiawatha Light Rail pulling in to Government Center.

Trying to find that extra dough each week to throw in the tank has become a bit like shoehorning yourself into a pair of old jeans – a Herculean struggle that ultimately just blows out the seams of the family budget.

With bus fares anywhere from 50¢ to $2.75 it doesn’t take long to figure out that, for most us, the SUV is D.O.A. – better to put a toe tag on the Hummer and hop on one of Metro Transit’s buses or the Hiawatha Light Rail Line to get where you’re going.

Periscope, the Minneapolis advertising agency for Metro Transit, was here at the studio last week recording and producing some radio ads for their client. These radio spots were about how much money you could save by riding the bus or train, and what you might do with that money.

Chris Wareham, the writer for these radio spots, came up with a scenario that guys will completely get; two buddies get to watch the big game on a 97 inch flat screen TV that serves them cold beer and nachos. If that weren’t already straight off the pages of Maxim, this would be – The television also projects one of the guys images out the window to make it appear that he’s mowing the lawn.

Can you say Testosterone Nirvana?

Minneapolis voice-over talent Ulysses Zackery and the ever present Kevin Dewey got to play the buddies in this radio ad while Eden Bodnar was the announcer. It’s really great to have local actors in the recording booth like this because it allows us to pick up directly on their energy and help guide the chemistry. As much as we like using ISDN and Source-Connect for recording voice-over talent from around the world, there really is nothing like hammering out a radio spot with live actors in front of you.

“Super TV” Owner – Kevin Dewey | Nachos Buddy – Ulysses Zackery | Our Announcer – Eden Bodnar

Poor Ulysses had to try and balance getting his performance and timing right while grabbing and eating nacho chips from a bag we put in the studio. While it was trickier to record this way, the feel is much more real than if we had simply asked him to fake as if he were eating and then we added stock sound effects later.

Getting the sound design and audio post production right was more challenging than we had anticipated due to some last minute changes at the recording session. The self destruct sequence at the end replaced an idea in the original script that the client felt may not work. Chris and I riffed on a couple of ideas and created a computer voice from scratch with the help of some EQ, a flange and multiple chorus effects. Who needs George Lucas?

Click on the link to hear Metro Transit’s “Big Screen” radio ad.

Ulysses Zackery and Eden Bodnar can be booked through their Minneapolis voice-over agent, Moore Creative Talent, Inc. Kevin Dewey is represented in the Twin Cities by Wehmann Models and Talent, Inc.

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