Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nationwide slot car commercial - Bob "Wild Child" Pomann on the scene!

A while ago I introduced Bob Pomann here on Slot Car News. Bob's an interesting guy, by day he's a world class sound engineer in NYCity, but in his off hours Bob seems to have this way of making the scene as a "slot car consultant" on a number of commercials. Bob's most notable commercial to this point was the Mazda "Adventures of Wild Child" commercial. Read the full story at this link.

A year ago this weekend I met Bob at the New York Toyfair. I've gotten to know Bob over the year and his excitement for slot cars (especially digital systems) is unmatched. So when he called me recently and proceeded to tell me that he was involved yet again with a slot commercial I sure wasn't surprised. This time the rumor had been going around for some time here in the states that there was a big commercial being shot for Nascar. Well, close. The commercial was shot for the Nationwide Series (formerly the Busch Series). The rumor had it that it was a commercial that featured a field of Carrera C.O.T.'s...well not exactly. Since the commercial is not for Nascar's mean...Sprint Cup, the field must be made of the aero body and not the C.O.T., and that's exactly what Bob confirmed.

The 5-day commercial shoot was done in various sets in NYCity. The commercial featured 40 cars, mostly Scalextric and SCX, with a few Carrera COT's in the back of the field as fillers.
That's Bob in the foreground I think looking official.
Bob's huge selection of "little people" was rented to the production company for the shoot.

Here you can see the main straight with the grandstand in the background. A section of the track was routed and the rest was Scalextric sectional track.

The 40-car-field was pulled along for one of the shots using fishing line hooked from car to car so they'd all move at once.
The track was fully functional. To get the accidents seen in the commercial (and I still have yet to see any of the 5 spots that were shot), an airgun was used to blow the car off the track to make a realistic looking impact. This was a trick used on the Wild Child commercial to blow the doors off the Porsche diecast seen at one point in the commercial.

It seems that every year a few more commercials are made using slot cars as a featured part of the commercial or as a bit player...maybe one of these days we'll see an actual slot car commercial on TV here in the US... stranger things have happened!

Thanks to Bob Pomann for use of his photos and for the interview!

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News


Unknown said...

Hi Dave,
Seeing those photos is bringing back memories of a week where I didnt sleep much. The track,lights and grandstand were built in my shop in NJ. Here are some detail for those who are interested. It was routed mdf with copper tape which we painted with conductive paint to kill the copper look. The lights were cast plastic fixtures we made here and wired them with big LEDs. The catch fence was bent copper tube [ the vertical posts ] with dremel grooves to recieve the music wire which ran horizontally, then we sewed on the screen and cyno'd it all. The decals for the 'hero' cars were made from the newest files obtained from the various graphic designers
who create the art for the real cars. Seperating the logos and decorative graphic elements to create a coherent decal sheet was a challenge. It was done in Illustrator and took days. That file was used to create custom pressure sensitive decals, I painted the cars with water based air brush paint.
Shooting this was tricky because there was a bit of a learning curve to getting the cars to behave all in one lane. Motors were removed to make the lines of cars move faster and in a more controllable and repeatable way. The prop guys you see in the photos did an amazing job solving problems under big pressure. It was a pretty happy set because the director is a really nice guy. Not all directors are as affable as he is.

The people were created digitally and made 3-d with SLA machines. Interpro and Versydine were the companies I used and they did a great job.
The big track is in my shop in NJ right now. I want to sell it to who ever makes the best offer. email meabout it if you like Its a bit beat up but easily fixable with bondo and paint.

Dan Castelli

Dan Castelli

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

Even though I'm a long-time full-scale racer, who just turned 60, those spots really caught my attention, since slot-cars were my first racing experience, back in the early 60s.

I hope you're getting a strong response from these online blogs, and can sense how fascinated millions of kids are, as they see what can be done in slot-racing.

Thanks for a great view into this realm!

suggestion: Your group needs to contact the folks who made those prostate shrinking commercials, and do one more, this time using your existing sets!

Millions of fathers and sons will be watching, more intently than ever!!

Best regards,
Mel Francis
Oconomowoc, WI

wrg20 said...

These slot car tracks look realistic. The painting and tracks look as if I took a picture at a nascar track. What does something like this cost to get started. I was looking at some parts on a slot car website. My buddy has a small track about 30 feet around but I'm looking to buy a larger one for him. Anyone got any ideas?