Behind the scenes: fake Droid RAZR commercial


"And then we cut to a fake commercial there there's a tombstone that says 'RIP RAZR', and lightning hits the ground and a zombie hand bursts out clenching a Droid RAZR. And there's this crazy voice that's like, 'RAZZZZRRR!' and, like, a woman screaming. Like, a super loud scream."

It was rehearsal time. Two nights before the first episode of On The Verge and host Joshua Topolsky was riffing.

"Can you guys do that? Can we have that for tomorrow?"

Josh was joking, kind of. But we had to shoot this. The next morning executive producer Chad Mumm and I hit the street to get props.

"Do you have any sod?" we asked an employee at Home Depot. 

"No," he said. "You have to go to a Home Depot. A real one, outside of Manhattan."

Luckily we were able to find some moss at a nearby florist, which actually worked out better than sod probably would have. I just needed to find a tombstone and a way to make my hand look like it had been underground for four years. New York City has a two-story Halloween Adventure that's open year-round. This would not be a problem.

At the office we started laying down the moss. One of the conference tables had a hole in it where a surge protector had been run up from the floor. We took out all of the wires and started making the table look like a grave site. I also started zombifying my hand. I covered it in a yellowish green wax, and detailed it with black makeup.

When I bought the wax from the halloween store, the guy asked me if the actor using it had hairy arms.

"If they do," he said, "they won't after you're done."

It took a while for the wax to actually dry, so I spent the next half hour doing some one-handed computing. I'm pretty well-practiced at this, actually.

Meanwhile, Chad and Jordan set up lights and blacked out the scene with a curtain. Once the wax was dry we busted out the Canon 7D and shot the bit. Check out the video below to see behind the scenes footage of the shoot, as well as the post production process. Also be sure to watch the completed clip that ran on On The Verge. We think it's good enough to be a real ad, and apparently some of our audience members didn't realize it actually wasn't. We think this should run on TV.  What do you say, Verizon? We'll let you use it in exchange for a bag full of money.