No room for error

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Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

In the second phase of our work in Orlando we filmed commercials for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops Spring Classics. I got up early on Tuesday and headed to the set. As soon as I got there, I had to review my lines and begin practicing.

The commercials are 30 seconds long. They gave me 15 of those seconds to catch and release three bass on film. The fish are already caught and in a tank so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. It's still serious pressure, though. It's not like you have any extra time or anything.

Our only real problem was the fish. You need big fish for TV. A couple of ours didn't measure up. We needed bigger ones. Fortunately for us there was a pond on the set with a good spinnerbait bite going in it. I was able to get a couple of good ones in a matter of just a few minutes.

After that we practiced for several hours with the fish and with our lines. Once you start filming for real, everything must go according to plan. High-end commercials are shot with real film, not on digital video.

According to the photographers, film makes for a noticeably better final product. I don't know the details of what makes it better, but they all agree that film is the only way to go. The drawback is expense. Film isn't cheap. You can't afford to waste it with retakes. That means practice, practice and then even more practice.

Once we had everything down to the second — and perfect — I had to go to makeup. They put some kind of stuff on you so that your skin isn't shiny. It's supposed to make you look better. (Yes, guys, I wear makeup. It doesn't bother me, though, because I'm secure in my manhood.)

When I tell you down to the second and perfect, that's exactly what I mean. Besides expense, there's another reason we can't afford to make mistakes. During the live filming I actually release the fish after I catch them. If we mess something up, our bass are gone, off somewhere in the pond, hiding in the grass and not biting anything.

Despite our busy schedule, everything worked out fine. We made good commercials that you guys will be able to watch on TV shortly. And thanks to the last couple of blogs, you'll be able to understand what goes into making them. I hope you found it interesting. Next week we'll get back to some hard-core fishing topics.

By the way, the Bass Pro Shops Spring Classics are super opportunities to upgrade your fishing tackle. The prices are great, and the product selection is superb. They're the real deal. Don't miss the one at your local store.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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