I was in a Toyota Commercial!


King of Splices
Mar 30, 2005
Snowless California
Last year through a very lucky and random series of events I was asked to be an actor in a commercial for Toyota Canada. They paid be about $1,500 for the day! I spent most of the day watching them film other shots. Then for about 1.5 hours I planted the same tree over, and over, and over...maybe 100 times and it was filmed from all different angles. It got annoying, but I just had to remind myself of what I've done for far less money in the past! :lol:

The filming was actually for a bunch of commercials. All for Canada. There were 2 versions of it, a short eco version (shown below) and a longer version that included non-tree-hugger stuff in it. They did both in english and french. They also filmed a commercial for Tree Canada, a charity group in Canada that helps peoples plant trees, I guess. I never got to see that footage, though.

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They said if it ever runs nationally across Canada that I would start to get residual checks. A month or so later I ended up getting TWO checks in the mail on the same day. The first was for about $250 and the second about $1250!!!! Checks kept rolling in. They decided a few weeks ago to rerun it. I got another $950 check last week. So far I am up to about $10,000!

That's amazing how much the scale wage is for actors. I never knew they got paid that much PLUS the extra money! It's unbelievable!

Good job, Tom! :P

Now you can have a Treemotion raffle!!! :D
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  • #7
I think it couldn't have happened at a better time. In college I learned how to exploit credit cards for all they were worth. I didn't think much about how it would all pan out. It didn't seem like a big deal. Then I was $20 in credit card debt.

I realized the error of my ways about 3 years ago. I stopped using the card and started doing what I could to pay it off.

Had this commercial came before the "realization" I think I would've treated all this money as free money, resulting in lots of vacations, trips, and surely, more debt.

As it is, Tom Nanos now only owes about $6000 and I really think I will have the rest paid of by christmas of this year- that's not taking in to account any more toyota money.

Willie, you're right. You could see me in that clip for like...what....2 seconds? Ridiculous.

Seems like showbiz is not a free-market economy, MB. If they told me they wanted me for $500 for the day, no residuals, I would have still been happy to do it...just for the story! But someone else (the screen actors guild) had my back!

Tom Nanos
cool Nick, I will keep my eyes open for the commercial. I have had some dealings with Trees Canada, some good ideas there.
Cool Tom! Showbiz is where it's at. I've got two buddies who were in the Guardian who pulled down $75,000 for non-speaking roles...and they make royalties for life...and got their SAG cards. Crazy.
HA! They only used three guys from one unit in the movie. They're good guys though; all good friends of mine.
I'm totally disillusioned. No truth in advertising. They don't even call the actors in commercials by their true names. I'll never buy Toyota.
That Canadian ad should have called you by your true name-Nick from Wisconsin-That way all the Canuckians could believe in the quality of Toyota. "Even american tree planters from WISCONSIN associate with Toyota-must be good Eh?". "Ya, must be real good Ollie? Bet they would work in Saskatchewan? Eh?"
The next time that unions get bad mouthed there should be a reference to the payscale that SAG has setup. Unions aren't all bad as Nick has benefited in a big way. Great news!
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  • #21
You know, this whole experience has made me think a bit about free market economy...and how it doesn't even exist. In a free market, they would've asked a few people if they wanted to be in the role. One guy would be REALLY good, but would want $10,000....then I would've strolled up and said, "$10,000? I'm from WI and I'd do this for $500 and the story!" I would've saved them $9500.

That money gets passed on to the buyer eventually. I'm sure the added cost in barely noticeable on a $25,000 truck, but you add a little to that, a little to the box of cereal, a little to my new shoes, etc, etc, etc.....that adds up.

Hollywood cracks me up! Now where do I sign up for that next role?!?!

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  • #24
Are unions just part of the FME? I mean....no one said anyone has to listen to the unions, right? The industry could just say, "You know what SAG, take a hike. We'll hire crappy non-union actors and be just fine."


then all the actors will go on strike and no new movies for the summer, drama:D