From back lots to Big Lots

This is another one of those rare times on C-U Blogfidential when we’ll feature a movie not produced in MICRO-FILM Country. Well, not really a movie, but a commercial. But not just any old commercial, a 30-second spot airing on national television. And not just any spot, a Christmas season promotion for Big Lots. Why the heck would we be pimping Big Lots? (Now that we think about it, the really frugal indie producers out there could pick up props, set dressing, costumes, and catering of the snacking variety at the nearest BL for a reasonable price tag that won’t kill their finances. You can tip us later for the advice.) Instead of shilling for the budget big box store, though, we’d like to root for the actress in the advert:

Needing “a lot of stuff” is our friend (and yet another future fellow alumnus, University of Illinois students) Danielle Cloutier, whose byline you will find in past issues of MICRO-FILM along with her photographic turn as the micro-femme in MF 4. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has hustled endlessly to achieve the full-time position of “working actress” and seems to have inched closer every occasion we check in. Current adventures in her screen trade include said spot, which began its run Thanksgiving week, along with creating a “pitchbook” with her collaborators for a proposed series and co-producing a “SAG New Media short” called FAUXVIVOR, which we presume is a concentrated effort through which one can land a Screen Actors Guild card and become a union member to earn union wages.

She acts. She writes scripts. She keeps Weblogs. She finds homes for rescued animals. She has a Tina Fey look that she’ll sport when required. She visits studio back lots with the utmost glee. (No joke. She recently stopped by Warner Bros. to pick up left-over catering from the set of THE BIG BANG THEORY television series for a FAUXVIVOR weekend.) She deserves all the success that will come to her as a result of doggedly pursuing her dreams. Cross your fingers that, some day, Ms. Cloutier will be visiting back lots not to simply come and go, but to stay extended periods for her close-up.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Since the Big Lots commercial is pretty much what you’d expect – and spends way more time on elves and cheap goods than Dani and her co-star – you’d do well to check out this page for links to vids that more conclusively hint at what she can do.

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