Hans Hernke has lived in Los Angeles for 12 years working as an actor, producer, and director. He has produced 19 independent films to date and has acted in over 45 different Film and TV projects. He had small parts in Disney films such as “Muppets Most Wanted”, “Sky High”, “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” and frequently worked on Disney’s “Phil of the Future” TV series. Most recently, he starred and produced the independent detective thriller “Hidden Agenda” shot on location in Orlando, Florida. “Buttered Popcorn For Your Soul” is his first inspirational published book now available on Amazon and Kindle.
Hans has lots of Disney memories: His first Disney memory is when he went to Disneyland with his parents and brother back in the late 80’s. Pirates of the Caribbean was his favorite ride. When his family moved to Florida, they made frequent trips to the Disney World Resort. His most recent memories began when his wife (girlfriend at the time), Lisa, took him to Disneyland for his birthday in 2009. Ever since, they hold premium seasonal passes and go whenever they can. For them, Disneyland is a place to go and forget about all the stress, unwind, and be kids for a day. They celebrated their wedding at Disneyland during Mickey’s Halloween Party dressed fully in their wedding clothes, taking pictures in front of the castle, with Mickey and other characters. Tourists and cast members were cheering and congratulating them all evening long. It was the most magical experience ever at Disneyland that they will never forget. Lisa also enjoys running the Disneyland marathons, and Hans is always there to cheer her on as she crosses the finish line! They are signed up to run in the Star Wars Disney marathon in January 2015!
Here is Hans’ ultimate NDP fan tribute to his favorite Disney attraction…
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1. How did the idea for the Jack Sparrow/Coke commercial come to you?
My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, we were taking a circle island bus tour. While on the tour, we were driving by the beaches and the idea for this commercial hit me like lightning…”what if Jack Sparrow comes on land and finds a chest buried and inside the chest is ice cold Coca Cola?” Having seen the whole commercial played out in my head, I started jotting down my ideas on my phone and sending them to my producing partner, Randy Kent, back in Los Angeles. He loved the idea! I contacted the guy who played Jack, his name is Janty Chattaw and he loved the idea as well. My wife was curious and asked me if I was working on our honeymoon. I laughed and said, creative people have to jot down their ideas somehow, someway before they loose them. She got it. I was determined to shoot this when we got back from our honeymoon.
Being a big fan of the films, the ride, and the character of Jack Sparrow, I always wanted to make some sort of short film with Jack Sparrow. Since the new attraction came out at Disney Hollywood Studios called “The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow” and there wasn’t much publicity about it, some people never even knew the ride existed, I decided to center my commercial around promoting that attraction and of course, who doesn’t love a Coke when they visit the parks too!
Janty Chattaw I found through Pirates4Hire.com. He performed as Jack Sparrow for our wedding reception party back in October 2012. He was a total hit with the crowd. Everyone was shocked when he made his grand entrance on stage, complete with the theme music from the film. At the end of the reception, he told me, “if you have any ideas for videos, let me know, I would be happy to do one with you”. So I pitched to him the Attraction/Coke idea and he LOVED it. He was a great help providing a very accurate costume for Jack Sparrow, the props, and even the Dead Man’s Chest you see in the commercial. Janty has a huge fan base that went crazy sharing the commercial the day it was released! Janty was definitely the right actor for this video. His costume is amazing and very detailed.
First thing I did was write down the concept and shot list of the entire commercial. Then I focused on what props, equipment, and locations I would need. I started digging around the internet for still photos and screen shots and even took clips from all 4 movies to create a story board to give our DP, Drew Ganyer, references to how I wanted the shots to look like. After that, I knew this wasn’t going to be a 1 minute commercial, it was more like a viral video at this point, there was too much good material to work with. There are small subtle references to each of the 4 films that I hope fans caught when they watched the commercial. I had several meetings with my producing partner, Randy Kent and Scott Rudolph. We set a date to shoot in February 2013 and it was full steam ahead. Got a small crew together, scouted 2 locations in Topanga Canyon and Malibu Beach. I had to keep logistics/travel in mind because after we wrapped our first location at Topanga Canyon, it was a straight shot down the road about 40 mins to Malibu Beach where we finished the day and EARLY!! I thought we were going to be shooting till it was dark, but we wrapped right around sundown. I originally wanted to shoot the entire commercial in Malibu, put obtaining a permit on weekends was tough, and expensive.
Randy Kent edited the commercial for me in about 2 weeks. I sat down with him one of those days, trimmed it up and made some changes here and there. He did the final touches on sound and VFX and it was ready to launch!
The shoot day went flawless! Everyone was on time, professional, and ready to go. Janty nailed every scene we did. We did about 4 alternate takes of each scene so our editor had material to work with. I was bummed that Randy Kent could not be there that day because he had a family trip in Atlanta he was doing. He told me before he left “I know you will do a good job”. I learned a lot from Randy so I put what I had learned from our past shoots to use on this commercial. A lot of people at our location which was a hiking park actually thought Johnny Depp was there. People would take pictures from a distance, or stop and get a photo from Janty. He has that character down to a T! My wife, Lisa Hernke, brought the cast and crew lunch during our break. I was extremely happy with how the day went. My vision for this commercial was crystal clear which helped move the shoot along quickly.
6. What was the initial reaction you received when it went viral?
I was quite surprised by the response it got from my friends, co-workers and family on Facebook. People were posting it left and right on their pages! Janty’s friends were sharing it like crazy. Nearly 20,000 hits the first 2 days! There was actually a Johnny Depp forum online that posted an article about Johnny Depp as Sparrow doing a Coke commercial! It was a long thread talking about the commercial and people debating about it being Johnny or not. One person asked me how did I manipulate footage from the films to make this commercial? I told them there are only 2 borrowed clips from the movie, very quick, and they are at the beginning. The rest was all our footage.The commercial still continues to get many hits and it’s well over it’s 50,000 marker. I am hoping this commercial brings more work opportunities for everyone involved. I’d love to direct another commercial, short film, or a feature if someone wants me on board to do one! YoHo!
This spec commercial was filmed for entertainment and talent purposes. No profits have been or will be made off this commercial. All rights belong to Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, Hans Zimmer, and the Coca-Cola Company