You have five days to find a mint and unmodified 1995 Acura Integra, 1991 Acura NSX and a 1991 Acura Legend. That’s the challenge we at 8112 Studios accepted when Tier10 approached us to shoot a new television ad with legendary New York Yankee Mariano Rivera.
The internal codename of the ad was “Legends,” and the concept was to circle Mariano with some of the most landmark Acuras of the past 20 years or so as well as the newly redesigned 2014 MDX and RLX. Mariano, a legend in his own right, would interact and reflect with these iconic Acuras, and it would be implied that he would also be reflecting on his own career, which will soon be coming to an emotional end for all Yankee fans.
Believe it or not, convincing Randall’s Island, the New York City location for the shoot, to let us park six Acuras on one of their fields, hiring a trained Steadicam operator, and recruiting a crew of 15 plus to build 60-foot by 60-foot overhead “silks” (diffusion material to control the light hitting the cars and Mariano) in less than five days was the easy part. How does one source three historic Acuras over 20 years old in a city known for driving its cars hard?
I knew sourcing an NSX wouldn’t be hard because it’s a timeless super car and its owners are often purists. I went to the NSX Club of America, and their very own president, Larry Bastanza, happily drove from two hours away to offer up his very beautiful stock, black 1991 model. It was the other two cars that were going to be hard. The 1995-style Integras sadly face the fate of heavy “tuning” or street-racing-style modifications. I found plenty of cars, but very few that were clean and stock. I posted in the Honda/Acura online forums and called dealerships around the New York Metro area trying to find the specific Integra, but got nowhere. 1991 Legends also faced many modifications and hard abuse over the years. Time was running out. We had Mariano, we had permits, a crew, a location, good weather, but were still missing two key vehicles.
I decided to turn to social media. I’ve used Twitter and Facebook in the past to hire crew in foreign markets that we were flying into, get location and rental equipment company suggestions, and even find unique props, like a 30-foot Chinese parade dragon when nobody would rent me one. After days of countless phone calls and emails to car clubs and dealerships, it took only one day to find our last two cars.
I posted a status on our 8112 Studios and Douglas Sonders Photography Facebook fan pages as well as on Twitter pleading for help from our followers to find our two Acuras. You would be surprised how hesitant people would be, even if you threw money at them despite the fact that the cars would be sitting comfortably in a field. Maybe they weren’t Yankee fans?
Within an hour or two, our status and tweets were reshared dozens of times. Nearly immediately, I received a Facebook message from the sweetest lady, Kathryn Solieri. Not only a Yankee fan, she also had one of the cleanest stock 1991 Acura Legends I have ever seen. It was incredible. She babied this car. She would look upon it with true love in her eyes. It melted my heart. She volunteered to postpone her family vacation for one day to be a part of the ad.
Shortly thereafter, I received a message from a photographer who goes by the name “T-Minus” offering to reach out to his friends in the Honda/Acura community to find the right car. It took four or five cars, but we finally found a car through his friend’s brother. The car had a small scratch on the bumper and a small dent on the passenger-side fender, but it was stock and otherwise very clean. After looking at dozens of Integras, this was our best and only option. We would have to bring a detailer to clean the blemishes to the best of his ability, but in the end that dark green Integra worked perfectly.
Once again, social media saved the day for us. After days of cold calls and emails and harassing contacts, we ended up sourcing everything we needed in 24 hours after merely asking our online contacts for assistance. You would be amazed how helpful people can be online if you ask nicely!