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Revealing Our Common Connections

Yesterday twelve local folks who have been recognized as people who “Live United” (they Give, Advocate, and Volunteer) came together at the Charlottesville Newsplex studios to shoot a 30 second television commercial. Special thanks to Embarq for sponsoring this ad! I was honored to be included in the group, which only represents a fraction of those in our community who serve in so many ways. I think they picked me because of my red hair.




The idea for the spot is simple: underneath everything we are, underneath everything we do, we are all people, and we are all connected. To illustrate this visually in the spot, we brought a variety of people together. We had all been given a special “Live United” shirt, and were told to wear it to the shoot and to bring a variety of outerwear to layer over the shirt.




What a group! Craig Littlepaige, Scheline Crutchfield, Mark Giles, Jay James, Joyce Robbins, Liza Borches, Antonio Rice, Lisa Cannell, Cathy Train, Dick Brownlee, Adrian Felts, and I crowded into the CBS 19 news studio. We took turns sitting behind the news desks while we watched everyone do their part in front of the green screen used for the weather maps (we were assured that the background would be plain white behind us when the spot is edited, but I’m wondering if we’ll get some cool CGI effects…maybe pterodactyls flying around behind us?).




Each person took their turn alone in front of the screen: we were to “radiate pride and confidence,” look right at the camera, and take off the outer layers we wore to reveal the Live United shirt. Everyone had a different approach and a different look: business suits, workout clothes, a leather jacket; and Dick Brownlee, a Darden professor, wore his academic robes. I had on a big bright orange down coat over a purple blazer over my shirt (I was going for “funky,” but I think I just looked puffy). I thought that I would nail it in one take, but on the first try, I couldn’t find the zipper pull on the coat. The next try I got the coat off, but couldn’t unbutton the blazer. The next try I got my arms stuck behind my back in the sleeves of the blazer and Antonio had to rush up and untangle me. Wardrobe malfunction! Needless to say, I was NOT radiating confidence. At least nothing risqué happened.




After we’d all done our solo parts, we assembled for a group shot. Someone (probably Antonio) started singing, “We Are the World.” And, then we were done.




What a fun time it was. I can’t wait to see the finished product on the air. Watch for it in a few weeks!


Posted by Caroline Emerson.


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