RALEIGH, NC – Davidian Films Bond Spoof is a Big Hit at the Baptist State Convention.
by S. David Acuff
“What do the Baptists have to do with James Bond?” the Leith Imports dealer asked me. Good point.
(L to R) Audi R8, Travis Kiker, Regina Ortiz, Chris Schoffield
I had called all around the Raleigh area in search of a Bond-esque type vehicle for this spot. Polling my friends and family, the best I could come up with was a Mercedes Benz and a ‘very nice Toyota Spyder.’
Are you kidding me? Ian Fleming would roll over in his grave if I put James Bond behind the wheel of a Mercedes. It’s readily apparent that I need some wealthier friends. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of the Prosperity Gospel? But I digress.
This commercial was an internet short advertising a 2009 Prayer Conference for the Baptist State Convention.
Given the date of the commercial’s premiere (November 12, 2008) it was so close to the world wide release of our favorite spy, James Bond, that I chose that theme to incorporate into the original pitch session to Chris Schoffield of the NC BSC. And he went for it.
“I wanted something that would POP. That would really stand out among our usual Annual Session fare,” Schoffield says. “This commercial is awesome! This has made a huge impression. People can’t stop talking about it.”
Meanwhile, back at Leith Imports, after some discussion, and some reassurance that his vehicle would be shown in a positive light, the Dealer agreed to rent us an Audi R8.
The Audi R8. Dead sexy!
Filmed on location at a $3M North Raleigh home, this commercial is based on an old joke that goes like this:
Three campers were walking through the woods when they came upon a hungry bear.
“We better run,” says the first guy.
“We better pray,” says the second guy.
“We better run and pray,” says the third.
Well, I didn’t say it was a FUNNY joke, I said it was an OLD joke. And so Bond and his female spy countepart get into some trouble, trip a few alarms and that’s when Chris Schoffield slides in with the sage advice to “run and pray.”
At which point the narrative shifts gears into a commercial for Prayer Conference double-oh 9!
The whole thing plays out like a movie trailer. It was a lot of fun to shoot and edit. We all wanted to get our pictures with the car, but we were afraid to touch it.
Which was probably a good thing as the price tag was somewhere around $137K. The addage, “You break it, you bought it” loomed large in everyone’s mind.
Bond and Lady Bond stand before a giant CG screen
The commercial premiered at the 2008 NC Baptist Annual Session to wild applause…after a few seconds of stunned silence. It took people off guard at first and didn’t make complete sense until Chris Schoffield, a very familiar face, showed up in his cameo.
That’s what I love to do: to take an ordinary subject matter and apply some Hollywood Cinema to it to create a lasting impression.
The R8 and the rest of the cast can be seen in the PrayerOps video below.
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"I'm trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across—not to just depict life—or criticize it—but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can't do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it is all beautiful you can't believe in it. Things aren't that way. It is only by showing both sides—3 dimensions and if possible 4 that you can write the way I want to."