If the guy getting a new tree in recent Verizon commercials looks familiar, it’s because he probably is. The recipient of an airlifted olive tree is none other than DaVero producer Ridgely Evers. His Healdsburg farm was recently scouted by the phone company’s reps for the ad both for its beauty and its storyline.
In real life, Evers mentioned to the crew that he wanted to replace a dying willow tree in the middle of his pond. Verizon snapped up the idea, hiring Marin Arborist Shelly Bovero to help him find a solution. Then things got Hollywood. Verizon hired Northern California’s largest helicopter, a a Sikorsky S58T, ($$$$) to airlift ($$$$) a 50-year-old olive tree ($$$$) into the spot left vacant by the willow. Not to mention painting and stripping the willow before removing it ($$$)– just so it looked a little more dead.
Over the three day shoot for the 30-second ad, the massive helicopter took two runs at the tree drop ($$$), something like nine cameras were shooting ($$$$) and around 70 crew were on site for the shoot ($$$$$$$$), according to Evers. In the end the newly-minted thespian said the shoot was quite an experience. Plus, he’s now eligible for Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) membership.