A Filmmaker's Journey

Ricart Automotive

The other day, I was catching up on South Park when a car ad came on. I cringed like I usually did, but then I was also reminded, hey I should probably update my blog. The two are related, I swear.

Two summers ago I interned with Ricart Automotive, Ohio’s number 1 largest auto dealer, in their Advertising Department. Ricart is best known for their parody commercials, and the signature line, “We’re dealin’!” I didn’t know what to expect working at a car dealership for a summer, but by the end of the summer I was glad I did.

My daily tasks were to edit the smaller Youtube videos of salesmen interviewing their customers, ingest old archival footage of Fred Ricart’s parody spots, and even help edit the Ricart radio spots. After I had proven my competence with these tasks, under the supervision of A.P., the in house editor that usually does all of these things, I was allowed to shoot and edit July’s television spots.

I am a self taught editor, filmmaker, writer – all aspects of filmmaking – kind of guy. And it was amazing working on these spots with A.P. not only because I got to learn Final Cut (finally), but because I was able to see how much blasted work goes into a simple 30 second tv spot. We would spend half a day on one 30 (mostly because I was still figuring out FCP). Every time I come across a generic dealership commercial, I instinctively cringe because I remember how tedious the work was.

By the end of my term at Ricart, I was given the golden opportunity to produce my own spot. Everyone in the department was hands off unless I asked for their help. Of course, my script needed final approval and such, but this was the highlight of my summer. The spot was more of an infomercial on the Ford Transit Connect Mobility Van. The most difficult process was writing the script. There were so many specs on the vehicle that needed to be highlighted, I found it very dry and boring, thus making my life miserable since I wanted this thing to be entertaining and informative. I learned the hard way though that sometimes the best way to make an infomercial is to stick to the tropes that already exist.

When it came time to shoot, A.P. came with me and helped me select my shots. The shoot took a few hours and it was wonderful working with everyone. When it came time to go into post, I was more than confident that I could cut this sucker the same day. And I did. I had learned most of the shortcuts and “formulas” for making this infomercial as good as it could be.

Like the car commercials, I cannot pass a Ford Transit Connect without going, “With the Ford Transit Connect Mobility Van you’ll…” Sometimes being an editor can cause you to go slightly insane. After this spot was completed, I headed down south for my final year at Rollins College.

It was great working with Ricart Automotive, and every now and again I check out their commercials and such on Youtube. Not too often though as I still cringe every time a car commercial comes across my computer screen.

Check out their Facebook page!

Until next time.


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