Friday, January 27, 2012

Case Study No. 0201: Stan Pirog

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat (Maricopa Community Colleges)
Sometimes you just can't make it to the library! Get the research help you need when you need it with the Maricopa Community College's 24/7 live library chat service at http:// lts/ask.
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Added: 3 years ago
From: AskaLibrarian247
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[scene opens with a man (completely covered head to toe in bandages) in a hospital bed, as a female nurse feeds him through a straw]
NARRATOR: Sometimes, you just can't make it to the library ...
[the nurse leaves, then he suddenly looks over at a nearby table, where there's a paper reading "ENG101 Assignment: Due Thursday!!"]
STUDENT: [makes muffled sounds of panic]
NARRATOR: Get that term paper done in plenty of time!
[he reaches over for the laptop on the table, but can't quite reach]
NARRATOR: Log on to Maricopa Community College's 24-hour chat service ... "Ask a Librarian!"
[he presses a button to make the bed move forward, so he can finally reach the keyboard and begin typing]
NARRATOR: Librarians stand at the ready to help you search databases, find articles, cite sources, and much much more!
[he visits the website and types in "Student: Help! I've got a research paper due Thursday!"]
STUDENT: [muffled] Oooh!
[he gets a response on the screen, reading "Librarian: We've got some great resources. Let me show you!"]
NARRATOR: Use the 24-7 "Ask a Librarian" service anytime, anyplace!
[cut to a wide angle shot (focused on a plastic cup with the "Ask a Librarian" logo, with the student in the background), as he leans over and suddenly falls out of the bed]



Every year judges from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals wade through thousands of media entries to select the best audiovisual pieces for one of the communication industry's top honors - the international Ava Award. This year, Maricopa Colleges Television (MCTV) brought home four Ava Awards including one earned with the help of Stan Pirog, faculty librarian at GateWay Community College.

Pirog helped MCTV claim the Ava Award for Best Commercial (for an academic institution) with the comedic and informative "Ask A Librarian" PSA he starred in, wrote, edited and helped to direct. Pirog said the award is a surprise honor that seems surreal after all of the work that went into making it.

The comedic "Ask A Librarian" commercial features Pirog as a man in a full body cast needing help with a school project. Thankfully, he is able to find out about the "Ask A Librarian" service that allows Maricopa Community College students to chat online with a librarian 24 hours a day.

The piece airs on a regular basis on MCTV, the MCCD TV station. The commercial was filmed on the GateWay campus and Pirog not only acted the part of an injured man, but he continued on with the project despite some real life health problems. In fact, he helped to edit the commercial after checking himself out of the ICU - against medical advice.

"It's not every day a librarian gets to make a commercial, so I left the hospital but returned the next day (after the editing); but this little stunt cost me $1,000 because the hospital charged me to be re-admitted," Pirog said. "I consider myself to be very 'invested' in this project. I think it was all worth it - after all, how often does one receive an international award for one's first and only go at making a commercial?"



Watch this hilarious, award-winning YouTube video, starring one of our GateWay librarians, Stan Pirog.


This Ask a Librarian Public Service Announcement was made possible by the great folks at MCCCD, MCTV, GateWay Community College, and the Ask a Librarian Committee. Stan Pirog (that's me!), the author and main "actor" in this video, is accompanied by Karen Docherty who co-stars as the nurse. Greg DeLauro directed the filming and--despite my constant suggestions/nagging--edited the video. Aaron Gencarelle is our cameraman; David Suber is our lighting technician (is that too technical a title?); and Tina Lassila provides that wonderful voiceover! Thanks go out to Rene Blatte (and Greg DeLauro) for generously indulging my meticulous and interminable suggestions and gentle demands!

This video has won two very prestigious awards: the international Ava Platinum Award, and the international Videographer Award of Distinction.


The idea for this "commercial" came to me immediately after reading an email in which a couple of other quite drastically different ideas had been suggested by others. I composed the original premise in about four minutes. Our Ask a Librarian committee was very supportive of the idea, and gave us the "green light" to proceed. Karen Docherty and I really pushed this project through to fruition. Despite our efforts to incorporate student actors in this video, it was ultimately Karen and I who you see in the video. Karen also designed and literally constructed the "body cast" you see me wearing in the 30-second commercial. I was "in costume" for about 8 or 9 hours on the day of the shoot (no coffee/potty breaks during that time--yowch!). All filming was done in June 2008 in GateWay's hospital lab room (and boy, do I have another ironic story about my own hospital adventure that followed only a month or so later! But that's another story.... Suffice to say at this point that I sort of "checked myself out" of the hospital--much to the Doctors' consternation and severe objections--in order to assist--to pester and endlessly suggest revision, refinement, and more revision--in the final editing of this video which took place on 8/14/08.) Anyhow, back to the GateWay hospital lab: I must have looked quite pathetic when the entire crew left me alone to go take lunch at GateWay's cafeteria! In fact, a student happened to peer into the room while I was all alone; she took one look at me; I mumbled "hello;" she ran like hell out of that doorway! The final scene showing the patient falling out of the bed had to be done in a single take--and that was a real fall onto a real floor! It was a lot of hard work, but also a ton of fun--and ultimately, it was incredibly rewarding as well! Karen and I just decided that we, as the only real amateurs in this whole affair, would go into the shoot with the intention of having a good time and trying to keep it fun! At the end of the day (literally), I think we all had a good time. It was a real pleasure to work with all the great folks at MCTV! Everyone involved in this video contributed creatively.

- Stan Pirog azstanp

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