Most borough residents will tell you that Collingswood is a great place to live; fewer might tell you they consider it to be an artistic ideal.
But for a couple days this week, at least, Geisinger Health Plan, a Danville, PA-based insurer, believes the town is a reasonable approximation of .
For a few days this week, the company will film an advertisement that follows an everydad on his daily jog through an active suburban community.
Amy Bowen, a spokesperson for Geisinger, said its contracted film crew, Curt Crane Productions, recommended the area because it’s “very similar to the area we offer coverage in.”
Curt Crane producer Marshall Evans said Collingswood was top-of-mind because “the community has always been very supportive of the kind of thing we do.”
“They’ve been so cooperative and helpful,” he said. “Everyone we’ve met from the borough assisted us in finding everything we need.”
In the 15 years since Evans first started filming in Collingswood, he said, the town has reinvented itself.
“When I think back on what the area was like when I first started doing commercials here, it’s like night and day,” he said.
Collingswood-as-backdrop “has been going on for a while,” among area production companies, said Mayor James Maley. Although it’s not incredibly lucrative, “it’s a nice PR thing,” he said.
The filming Tuesday afternoon was done in the sunshine of a warm day on the soccer field at .
Among the soccer moms who watched their little ones scrimmage for the cameras was Hope Kilgannon, who around 2 p.m. said all the six- and seven-year-old extras had endured was “one costume change and plenty of snacks.”
Even those siblings who were either the wrong age or gender to participate still got a healthy share of the craft services bounty.
Nearby, a quartet of seniors watched the action from the shade of a tree at the field’s edge. Among them was Mark McGwire, father of director Curt Crane.
McGwire, originally a Collingswood native, said Crane will often invite him to sit in on shoots when he can, but that it was especially nice to come back to Knight Park.
“The park, it’s a beautiful spot,” he said.
Jim Bridgeford, 2012 vice-president of the Collingswood Recreation youth soccer program, said the activity was “super for the kids.
“They got to go in the trailer and get makeup; they’ll all be able to download the commercial,” he said.
For Bridgeford, the shoot is also an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of the league. Despite soccer being the most popular sport played in town, “one of the issues we have is funding,” he said.
In recognition of that, and as a gesture of thanks for rounding up the local talent, Bridgeford said, Geisinger made a token donation to the rec league program.
After all, in Anytown, USA, that’s what good neighbors do.