Utah's speedy Bonneville Salt Flats are the location of many an automobile commercial. This weekend and through Monday, though, other portions of the state are serving as outdoor stages for car advertising.

For example, General Motors-commissioned film crews were out in force Friday at Library Square in Salt Lake City getting footage of Chevrolet's Impala and Traverse, with the library's shiny south side as a backdrop.

"They decided on Salt Lake," said Andrew Shaw, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Library, noting that commercial productions have often been filmed inside the library but not often outside.

Also, the commercial creators especially liked how it is titled the "City Library" and that it will give a wide, universal appeal to the ads.

"As far as I know, it is the first car commercial here," Shaw said.

Damon Live Action Inc., of Los Angeles, is doing the film work. Tim Fermino, producer for the company, said it isn't a regular commercial being shot, but rather "running footage" that will be incorporated into many video pieces later on.

"It's a great outdoor studio here," Fermino said of Library Square. "Better than we can create."

Library patrons have their access temporarily restricted during the short spurts when actual footage is being taken of the two immaculate vehicles sitting in the sun.

Fermino said a crew of about 110 is out and about filming various General Motors vehicles. Another crew was up the street in a parking lot doing interior shots of GM vehicles, while another was headed to Oakley for some rural mountain shots. Another crew was going to Ogden.

In all, he was pleased with Salt Lake City as the hub for filming at various locations, all within an hour's drive.

On Monday, he said, the Library Square filming will reverse direction and will highlight the descending wall of the library shops.

Fermino noted how time-consuming it is for each piece of footage. Everything has to be lined up, he said. The vehicles are frequently wiped off in between sequences and attention is paid to every detail.

He said he's shot in the city before and likes it as a midsize metropolis. He's also glad that the vehicles he's working with are ones the public has seen before because he has to protect first-time production models from a specialized group of paparazzi. He's had to create special tunnels and all kinds of barriers to shield them from unwanted photo lenses.


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