Surge - Hallway Race (1997) :30 (USA)

Racing through a hallway to get to a can of surge!

Client: Surge

Director: Joe Pytka

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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flickhead71's picture

I was actually in this commercial. I'm the short guy being dragged by a larger guy through the hallway.
The audition for this spot is one of the more notorious Hollywood casting stories:
They put five sets of actors into five different rooms after narrowing down to 25 after three callbacks. For this final callback, they had us all get down on our hands and knees. They placed a can of soda about 15 feet away from us and made us race on a very short fiber carpet. The person who got each can had to open it and slam the whole thing. I won in my group by rolling over the backs of all the other much larger actors. In so doing I won the spot of that group, but when I stood up, the casting director (Billy Woodruff -this was over at Sheila Manning's facility) stared in horror, as I had rug-burned the skin off of my elbows and knees. I was seriously bleeding. It didn't heal in time for the shoot, so I had to wear flesh colored bandages. Puck was at the height of his fame, and while he was definitely conceited, he was an ok guy. This was a brand x spot when we shot it, so the can was green and art was blown in later. The commercial was directed by Joe Pytka. I worked for him a few times before leaving the acting trade to go into film licensing and marketing. Pytka was a very demanding director, but one of the best I've ever worked with. I've heard a lot of tales about his behavior on other sets, but he was a gregarious, interesting guy on the set of "Hallway".
Soon after, he started using TLC casting exclusively, but I did three spots for him and got called in to audition for him on almost everything he shot for about four years.

Dabitch's picture

that story is insane. Casting sounds a lot like hazing! ;P

flickhead71's picture

We had to sign injury waivers -something I never did again!

Dabitch's picture

Damn right, that's a sure sign of trouble. ;)