Hey Folks! Now that Richard Simmons’ new infomercial has seen the light of day, I can share some fun behind-the-scenes scoop about the whole experience. Before I do that, a big thanks to everyone that tuned in! For anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, Richard Simmons just launched a new 90-day weight loss program called Project H.O.P.E., and I’m featured as a weight loss success story in the new infomercial!
For everyone that missed it, I don’t have any information for you about how you can watch, unfortunately. I’m not in the online version of the infomercial (which can be seen here), and I don’t know if the 30-minute version that I’m in will ever appear online. As for television viewing: I’d like to think that this infomercial, just like every other infomercial ever made, will run for months and months and be inescapable. I just don’t have, at this time, any more scheduling information. What that means is that you should stay up late and watch cable TV in the middle of the night for the foreseeable future until you happen to catch it on the airwaves!
Kidding, of course. If I learn more about concrete viewing opportunities, I’ll be sure to let you know! In the meantime, you can live vicariously through these photos.
I appear three times during the infomercial. The first time is right near the beginning, when they show this graphic for a few seconds that features ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs:
Halfway through is my big moment in the spotlight: a roughly 20-second clip of me talking about working with Richard. Here’s what I look like during that part:
(Not the greatest expression on my face, but it’s hard to get a good screengrab of a moving image!)
Then, towards the end, I can be seen in one shot taken at one of Richard’s classes at Slimmons. That’s me on the left with the black shirt, grey pants, and the same yellow sneakers I wore on “The Doctors”:
My portion of the infomercial was shot in early December, but Richard asked me to be a part of it months prior. He passed along my contact information to the producers putting it together, and soon I was sending along photographs and filling out questionnaires about my story, my relationship with Richard, and what I’ve gained from working with him and taking his classes.
The day before my shoot, I had to head across town to a wardrobe fitting at the production company offices, which have an airplane suspended from the ceiling above some of the cubicles. Pretty cool!
I had sent Robyn, the stylist, all my sizes, and she brought a bunch of clothing options. I brought some from my own closet as well, and after lots of trying on, we decided on two looks: the purple shirt and blazer you saw in the pictures above, and this orange sweater, which came from my closet:
I love that sweater (and wore it the other day!), but I think the other outfit looks really sharp on television. I’m glad that’s the one that ended up on screen.
The next day, I was off for the interview and to be photographed for the infomercial! The studio was a facility called Centro Net, in a suburb called Torrance, which was about 45 minutes away. Thank God the shoot was on a Saturday, because in traffic, that drive would have been significantly longer! Centro Net has a couple stages, and a few generic sets that people can use when they rent space, like this newsdesk set:
First stop was hair and make-up. My friend Joanne, who was also being interviewed for her 101-pound weight loss, snapped this picture of me getting my face put on:
After changing into my first outfit, I was taken to the photography studio, where I stood in front of a big white background, and a photographer snapped tons of photos. He and one of the producers would direct me to do cheesy things like give two big thumbs up, and I did, and I’m so glad they didn’t use one of those. Then I changed into the second outfit and did it all again!
On the way out of the photography studio, I had one of the producers snap a picture of me and Joanne. We both look pretty awesome!
Then I was taken to the stage where I would be interviewed, and man, did they have an impressive set-up! They interviewed me in front of a green screen, which allows them, afterward, to replace the background with whatever image they want. They ended up going with a simple look that has the logo blown up huge (see for yourself in the second photo in this post), but that simple look required all this equipment and lighting from all sides:
Here I am, standing on my mark, which is a line they put on the floor so you know where to stand:
For the actual interview, one of the producers, Tracy, asked me questions for about 30-40 minutes. They were very similar questions to the ones I had already answered in the questionnaires, and I felt comfortable answering them, especially since there was no pressure to get things right on the first try. If I stumbled over my words or slipped into gobbely-gook, I would stop, take a breath, and start over.
And, just like that, I was done! I was at the studio for 2 or 3 hours, tops, and that was that! The only thing left to do was wait. Lots of waiting. When I taped the interview, they didn’t know when it would start airing, or when it would even be finished. They had interviewed 6 of us that day, and I didn’t know if we would all be featured, or just some of us, so it was very exciting, when I finally saw the infomercial, to see that I had made the cut.
Then there’s the added bonus of seeing that big graphic: “David lost 165 pounds!” Yep, that’s me. I’m that guy.
Keep it up, David!