IAP 2018-E2: George Wertzel’s Subaru Commercial

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In this episode:

The Interactive Accessibility Podcast (IAP) is an entertaining approach to accessibility. We enjoy sharing our discussions on accessibility and how it relates to technology, real-life issues, information, businesses, and people with disabilities.

This episode is a double brush with fame! We talk with George Wurtzel, who works for the San Francisco Light House for the Blind and Visually Impaired as the Camp Construction Manager for their Enchanted Hills Camp. George recently starred in Subaru’s first audio described commercial featuring someone who is blind.  And, yes, we learn that Darren-The-Guide-Dog is the first and only IAP host to have fans.

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Listen to IAP 2018-E2:  George Wurtzel’s Subaru Commercial

Transcription:

[music]

Recording: Welcome to the IAP, the "Interactive Accessibility Podcast," bringing you the people, technology, and ideas helping to make your world accessible to everyone.

 

[music]

Mark Miller: Hey, welcome to the IAP. I'm your host, Mark Miller, thanking you for helping us keep it accessible. Do us a favor. If you're enjoying the IAP, share it. Tell someone about it. Hey, even link to it from your accessible website.

 

Jeremy, I feel like we're having a couple of brushes with fame here. Not just because of our guest, who I'll introduce in a minute, but also one of the hosts of the IAP, Darren, has been getting some feedback from the public.

Jeremy Curry: I heard there's some shout outs to Darren the guide dog, yeah.
Mark: Darren the guide dog. You and I work hard putting the podcast together. Darren sleeps in the corner, and gets all the attention from the fans. Sounds about perfect.
Jeremy: Especially when I'm walking around. There's some people that call me Darren. They don't even know my name.
Mark: [laughs] They don't even know your name? We have a really interesting guest today. When I say brush with fame, I mean that because of a really amazing commercial that was done for the Subaru Outback by our guest, George Wurtzel. I hope I'm pronouncing your last name correct, George. Welcome.
George Wurtzel: Yes.
Mark: Welcome to the IAP, George. I think the main thing that we want to talk to you about is this opportunity to do this Subaru Outback commercial. I'm going to let you take it from here because there's a lot of firsts going on with this commercial, and you were lucky enough, I guess, to be part of that.

 

It's just some really amazing stuff. Tell us a little bit about the commercial. What makes it unique and how you got involve with it?

George: Having started into this knowing nothing about how the industry works, I didn't realize when a company...Well, I kind of knew, but when a company wants to produce an advertisement, they go to a production company of some sort and people develop a concept. Then they give the concept back to whoever the client is.

 

The client looks at it and says, "OK. We like the concept. Go out now and find talent to produce the ad." Then, the production company sends out a notice to all of the people out in the industry, all the agents. The agents send out what's called a casting call to all of their professional people.

What happened with this ad is they were looking for a blind person to be in this ad. Their contacts with a large amount of blind people to choose from was rather small. The casting companies got a little bit creative. They sent out notices to different blindness organizations, and people, and different things.

I did not receive one of those, but several of my friends -- well, at least they claim to be my friends -- gave them my name.

[laughter]

Mark: They're like, "You'd be perfect for this, George!"

 

[crosstalk]

George: The casting call said, "Looking for a blind man aged 50 to 70, a little bit rustic, and a little bit curmudgeonly." I think that it's the age thing that got me in, but I'm not sure.

 

[laughter]

Mark: You're like, "Thanks, I think, guys." That's funny.
George: I certainly fit the category of rustic. My standard attire for working in my industry for the last 30 years has been a pair of bib overalls and a flannel shirt, which is pretty much my costume of choice. I got a long beard, shaggy hair, live on top of a mountain, and I'm a little grumpy.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Live on top of a mountain. That's good.
Jeremy: It was amazing how your personality came through that commercial. When I saw it, I'm like...It was like they didn't even have to write a script. That's just George. That's just what he does.
Mark: Jeremy shot me this commercial one day, and said, "Hey, you got to look at this." That was his exact comment. He's like, "I know this guy and that's just him." That's exactly what he's like.

 

Tell us a little bit about that. I think we're going to play at least a bit of the commercial here for you guys so you can hear what we're talking about. It's a 2018 Subaru Outback commercial that features George. If you've seen it, I think you would know. It's pretty obvious.

Tell us a little bit about how that process was. Did you have a lot of liberty to say and do what you wanted to? Were you following a script? How was that? How was it dealing with it for the first time? You're not a professional commercial guy, right?

George: Absolutely. I'm the only person in the ad who is not a professional. Carrie and Paul, the two people who are the other prominent people in the ad, they do that for a living. That's how they pay their mortgage. They don't care. They don't care what the people in the ad ask of them.

 

You want me to stand on my head, I'll stand on my head. You want me to look over there, I'll look over there. You want me to frown, you want me to smile, whatever. That's what those people do for a living. I started into this process, and the very, very first thing I ask the people, was, "Well, I want to hear what the script...I want to know what the concept is."

No one can say they don't need the money. Everybody loves money now and then. I was more than willing to say, "I don't want to do the ad," and forego the money if it didn't portray blindness in a positive light. I don't want sensationalism. I don't want feel sorry for. I don't want amazing.

I couldn't be happier with how the ad comes out. It is about as a normal of an occurrence of meeting someone and asking for directions, and interacting with people that you could ask for. It's just like anybody walking into any little store in the middle of nowhere and asking the people, "Can I get to X?" That part of it, I love.

Mark: I really appreciate that attitude. I think it's spot on. I agree with you. As a sighted person who's looking at this ad, I don't see a person who's blind that's having difficulty. I see a person who has a different set of skills and a different way of experiencing things.

 

A way that, when shared with other people, can expand the way that they experience things. I thought that was what was really wonderful about it. I know you're a wood worker, too. It would be like if a non-wood worker came over to see your work, and you showed them, "Hey, this is how you work with wood," and you make a table, and you do this, and they learn something.

It really had that sense of just a great experience, not just in terms of the environment, but in terms of the group of people that had found themselves together.

Jeremy: I'm with you, George. It's a lot of times when people like you and me, whether totally blind or visually impaired, you get these people and say, "Oh, I don't know how you do that. You're so inspirational." You're thinking, "I'm just living my life." It's not to... [laughs]

 

[crosstalk]

Jeremy: ...more than that a lot of times.
Mark: It's true with everybody, Jeremy. This is all in the context of somebody being blind. I try to live my life that way, where if I touch somebody that I'm adding value to their day and in their life a little bit. It seems like another one of those moments in this commercial.
George: It was...
Mark: Go ahead, George.
George: As a neophyte to the advertising business and making an ad or something, it was a lot of fun to do it. It's a part of the world that I never had had any exposure to, at least that directly. I grew up a Michigan. There was a lot of car ads shot in Michigan.

 

Every once in a while, you ran across a car ad that was being made. You never dove into it. You never figured out that you had to do the same thing for 427 times to get it just the way the guy wants it.

Mark: [laughs] Yeah, I always imagined...

 

[crosstalk]

Jeremy: ...shoot the commercial.
George: Three full days for a 60-second spot. A little city of people on site all...Every bit of this was shot out...not in a studio. It was all shot out in the world. People who had to go in and prop the place that they wanted to prop.

 

The little scene at the very beginning where they come in and ask for the map, it is a spot by a little general store, but they totally propped the inside of it. All the things that you see were most of the things they brought in. There's a little potbellied stove I'm sitting next to that was propped. The counter that the guys behind, who doesn't say a word, except for shake his head no.

[laughter]

George: When we were done shooting that, they tore all that apart and put it back to the way it was originally. [laughs] We were shooting the night scene -- this is pretty funny -- and the guy says, "No, I want you to walk down there between those two rocks and go to the right of the next one."

 

I says, "Go to the right of the plastic rock or the real rock." He goes, "What?"

[laughter]

George: I walk down there. I bang on my cane and the one goes, "Bong, bong."

 

[laughter]

George: I say, "Plastic rock."

 

[laughter]

George: The other one I tapped with my cane and I say, "Real rock." He didn't even know it was a plastic rock.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Which, oddly, is exactly how I would define '70s rock and roll from '80s rock and roll right there. Plastic and real.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Hey, let's do this while we're talking so much about the commercial. Let me play a bit of it. What I would say is, I'm going to play some of this, and if you have a comment, either one of you, or if I do, start your comment and I'll pause the video there.

 

That way we're not just playing 60 seconds of this for people, because I think they can do that on their own. Jeremy, if you have a question about a certain part of it or whatever, start talking and I'll pause. George, if you have something you want to comment do the same thing.

[crosstalk]

Jeremy: Whenever I think of George, I always think of Camp T in Michigan. You'll first hear him talk about the Peninsula Trio. When I very first heard that, I thought, "Oh, they must be in the Upper Peninsula," because that's where I associate George from. It wasn't the Upper Peninsula. You filmed this in California, right, George?
George: Correct. It's all done over by Point Reyes, is where all of it was shot, north of San Francisco.
Jeremy: OK.
Mark: All right. I'm going to start going here.

 

[crosstalk]

Jeremy: ..., Mark.
Woman: [in video] Does this map show the Peninsula Trail?
George: [in video] Peninsula Trail. You won't find that on a map. I'll...
Mark: This right here is where you what you were talking about, George. They're in the general store and they've got... [laughs]
George: Correct.
Mark: There's the one guy just staring, watching the conversation, and these guys are looking for that Peninsula Trail.
George: [in video] ...take you there.

 

[background music]

George: I'm sitting over in the corner like I'm conversing with the guy behind the counter when they come up.
George: [in video] Hungry? Me, too.
Mark: What's interesting, that I didn't think about till this moment, is that nobody acknowledges in any way in the commercial that you're blind. It's just a fact because you have your cane would be the only reason anybody would know, and you just start engaging.
George: Chris Park should be proud. I was using a Chris Park's telescoping cane. This cane has now made it to the big time.
Mark: [laughs] This podcast is brought to you by...No.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Here we go.

 

[background music]

George: [in video] Take this left here till you [indecipherable 13:05] fish are biting. Don't eat just yet.
Mark: You guys are in the car, in the Subaru, driving around here, and you're giving the people with sight who are driving directions. That's similar to an experience I had, where I was in the back sit of a car, and obviously, a guy with sight was driving. There was a blind guy in the passenger seat.

 

We were lost, and he's the one who figured out where we should go and how to get there. [laughs] I always find that interesting.

[background music]

George: [in video] Feel the wind. If you listen real hard, you can hear the whales.

 

That's me.

[laughter]

Mark: Is that true?

 

[crosstalk]

Mark: You're standing on a bluff over the ocean. Can you really hear whales?
George: No.

 

[laughter]

Mark: That was one of those moments where I was like, "Wait, really?" [laughs] You can hear Dory out there right now. [laughs]
George: We were doing...
Jeremy: I think I heard that that was not in the script, right?
George: Exactly. There was like 10 different things we said when we were out there. They had us do this one, and then do that one, and do this one, and do that one. I bullshittingly say at one of them, "You can hear the whales." [laughs]
Mark: They're like, "Yep, we'll keep that take."
George: Yeah.

 

[laughter]

Mark: How many people do you think are out hanging over the ocean right now, with their ear cocked, going, "I can't quite...Is that a whale? Did I just hear a whale?"

 

[laughter]

George: The day we were there, the wind, it was hollow. It had to have been blowing 30 miles an hour coming in. We're up on this block 80 feet above the water, and the waves are making this incredible sound crashing against the rocks down below.

 

I was asking the sound guys...They were using this truck that they were shooting this with that has a big, long arm on it. Probably goes out 60, maybe 70 feet from the truck with the camera on the end of it, so they can get way out.

They had this thing pushed way out over the edge of the bluff and were shooting back looking at us from the ocean view at some point in time. I said to them, "Do you have a cabled mic on that thing that you can use?"

He goes, "Oh, yeah." I says, "You ought to drop that down over the edge of the cliff and get some good recordings of the waves crashing against the..." He did that.

Sadly, they didn't use much of it in the ad. My gosh, did he get some great recordings of these waves coming in. There must be some big hollow spots in the cliff down below. You could hear the way the water popping up into those. It was really, really neat.

Mark: I got an offbeat question for both of you guys. Do you ever record sounds in the way that I might take pictures of a beautiful scene? Do you hear a sound and think to yourself, "That's worth capturing for myself?"
George: Yes.
Mark: You do?
George: Yep.
Mark: I've never stopped to think about that. Having said it out loud, it seems like an obvious thing.
Jeremy: I do sometimes, but it's usually with my daughter because I want to remember how she sounded at certain ages.
Mark: Of course.
George: I no longer have it because it was on the reel-to-reel tape. I don't know what happened to it. One of the coolest sounds that I can remember recording was out on Grand Traverse Bay in the winter time, when it had frozen as smooth as an ice rink, which was quite rare for it to freeze really, really smooth.

 

We're out there at night, ice skating and everything. I took the tape recorder out with me. We were right on the edge of this little island. There wasn't any snow at all, to speak of, on the ground. We started pitching rocks out across the ice.

The sound that it makes, skipping rocks, blonking across the ice was incredible. I took and laid the microphone down on the ice. Then the wind started coming up a little bit. Then the ice starts working and moving.

If you want the best science fiction spooky noises that you can think of to create, alls you have to do is go out on a huge lake in the ice in the winter time and you'll get them.

Mark: That's cool. What did the rock sound like hitting the ice? Was that like a laser sound, or was that like a hollower sound?
George: Yeah. It seems to break it up into two really distinct frequencies, just two...You get this really low bassy boom, boom.
Mark: That's interesting.
George: Then you get this really super-high pitch -- ping, ping -- out of the same toss. It's bizarre.

 

[crosstalk]

Mark: I can see how that would just be almost otherworldly.
Jeremy: Were you sure that was the rock hitting the ice or were those the whales that you were hearing under this ice?

 

[laughter]

Mark: Those were ice whales.

 

[laughter]

George: "Hey, quit throwing those rocks!"

 

[laughter]

Mark: "Yes, be quiet, you can hear the whales and the lasers!" [laughs] The whales with lasers. All right. Let's keep going here.

 

[music]

George: [in video] This is my favorite part of the forest.
Mark: This is nighttime now.
Woman: [in video] Oops.

 

[music]

Mark: It's nighttime and George is the only one that can effectively walk through the forest at night.
George: She trips on the log.
Mark: She trips on the log. [laughs] I'm thinking that would be me. I told Jeremy that. I said, "If we're ever walking in the dark we're going to reverse roles. I'm hanging onto you."

 

[laughter]

George: I think, in the ad, and maybe you can confirm...There must be some good shots there of feet and canes and walking over logs because they shot that about nine million times. Me walking across that log.
Mark: Here I'm going to back up a little bit. I was not looking with that in mind. Oh yeah, actually I see a freeze-frame and you can see that your cane. Here you are in the car approaching the woods.

 

[music]

George: [in video] This is my favorite part of the forest. Shh. Just listen. Hear that?
Man: [in video] Our Subaru Outback lets us see the world.

 

[music]

Mark: You know I would say, George, to the editor's credit, that the scene of you guys walking through the woods in the dark opens with you, a shot at your feet where you find a log with your cane and then you expertly step over it. Then the rest of it from there is just the girl trips and she puts her hand on your shoulder.

 

You take a concerned glance backwards understanding something's not going right and hoping she gets her bearings. Everything's very close-up and intimate. There's a shot of an owl in there because you guys are listening to the owl. It seems very appropriate. None of the commercials seem overdone and gratuitous.

George: I will tell you, I don't know where that damn owl came from.

 

[laughter]

George: He was not there. He was an interloper.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Remember at the beginning you said, when they have that casting call, they clearly responded to that. [laughs]
George: Exactly

 

[laughter]

Mark: He was sitting on a bluff listening to whales in the ocean, got the casting call, and there you got the owl.

 

[laughter]

Mark: All right. There's just a few more minutes here. I don't know if there's anything...

 

[crosstalk]

Jeremy: ...from all the people who were trying to put their owls into commercials, Mark.

 

[laughter]

George: That's right.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Now there's going to be a reality show about that. About people with their owls in commercials. All right. Listen, there's a few seconds left here so I don't know if there's anything interesting but we'll hear it out.

 

[music]

Man: [in video] Sometimes in ways we never imagined.

 

[music]

Mark: Then there was just the word love because you're a loving guy. Go ahead.
George: I loved the little tiny tag line at the very end there that kind of references blindness, sort of, but not really. Look so you see the world, whatever, in ways that you never imagined. It's just this is really subtle. I mean the people at Carmichael-Lynch in Minneapolis that put this thing together, that was her line, and I just loved that.

 

I didn't do this for fame or anything, but I really hope this ad goes somewheres and does something for them. I hope they win something for it because it is such a real ad. Subaru has got... [laughs]

I've never watched any car ads ever before this, [laughs] so I went and watched some of the Subaru ads and they really seemed to be on a really good human streak with what they're doing with their stuff.

Mark: I'll tell you that the way that the ad strikes me is more metaphorical than really something that's about a person who's blind. What I mean by that is that it really isn't gratuitous, like I said before. It doesn't come across as like, "Hey, look, we can throw a blind guy in the ad."

 

It just comes across as, "Hey, if you're out for experiences, if you're trying to expand beyond yourself and expose yourself to new people, new ways of thinking, new ways of doing, that's the message that comes across. This sighted couple partnering up with this blind guy is just the way that message comes across.

It doesn't seem to be anything more than that to me, which I think is a very, very nice tone for the ad.

George: I want to put in a little plug here for my tolerant employer, Lighthouse San Francisco and Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind, where I work. I teach for them up here at Enchanted Hills.

 

My task that I was assigned to when I first came here was to take an old 1920s grape crushing building that had truly been abandoned by the camp for the last 25 years...It was just a place to store garbage. When I first got here, it still had dirt floors in it. We poured downstairs, poured new concrete floors.

The upper level of the barn, the Tactile Art Center, is where my woodshop is. I brought all my machinery and tools that I own and came out and set them all up. Now we're teaching woodworking. Downstairs, we're going to have a pottery studio when we're done. We're going to have a general sculpture area when we're done.

We're going to set up a spot down in one of our other buildings to do some small engines exploration, a little bit of welding exploration, and those kinds of things. Our goal is to turn this spot into a place where blind people can come and explore the things that they're interested in and they want to do regardless of what society has told them they should do.

Mark: Oh, that's great.
Jeremy: That's very cool. In fact, I was thinking that when, probably the first time you and I met in person, George, which was a while ago, we were at a place called Camp T in Michigan. I think it was a GPS camp and there were lots of...I think there were high school students there.

 

I can't remember if you were saying this when we were there or if it was in a video. I just can't remember, but you were talking about these group of students and how they were totally blind. You were taking them out in a canoe, or a boat, or some type of...not a giant ship, but navigating with GPS.

Mark: Battleship.
Jeremy: The students would say, -- Yeah, like battleship -- they'd say, "Oh, I can't do that." I'll never forget you saying, "Well, how did they know that? It wasn't that they can't do it because they would have had to have tried. Someone told them that they couldn't do that." I just have always found that so intriguing when I heard you say that.
George: Don't push your lack of talents and skills off on me.

 

[laughter]

George: That's how I look at life. Just because you can't do it doesn't mean that I can't do it. [laughs] I can't run a four-minute mile. There are some people who can, but don't tell me that I can't do it. Give me the tools. Give me the opportunities. Give me the education. Give me the accommodation that I need and let me try and fail on my own.

 

I am a huge believer. There's nothing wrong with failing. Sometimes I do become offended at this attitude that school systems and different organizations have taken on that everybody is a winner. If you go to an event, you're a blind person, you run in a race, and you're the only one in your category. You get the first-place trophy. I say that's bull.

You deserve recognition for the fact that you did it. That's great. If you're the only one, you don't deserve a trophy. If you're in a class of 20 people and you finish last, you finish last! Big deal. You did it. Don't let someone else's judge of the quality or the quantitative amount of what you have accomplished. Figure out what makes you happy.

I was a huge cross-country skier for years, and years, and years. I skied a cross-country ski race in Northern Michigan one time, the White Pine Stampede, the very first year they ever had it. Almost 50 years ago, now it may be 50 years ago. There was 250 people that started that race. I finished number 43 in that race. I was the last person to finish.

[laughter]

Mark: Wow.
George: [laughs] So 250 people started, 43 people finished, and I finished last, and I got my picture in the newspaper. I said, "Shit, I deserve to get my picture in the newspaper finishing this race."

 

[laughter]

Mark: You finished, that's pretty good.
George: They were pretty amazed that a blind guy finished the race. I said, "You know, it was blizzard conditions most of the time. You couldn't see anyway!" [laughs]

 

[crosstalk]

Mark: Other people's disadvantage becomes your advantage. Yeah, I'm a firm believer, too, George. I really appreciate that sentiment because I teach the martial arts, and I teach a lot to kids. One of the things that you've got to get people over is the word can't. Also, just realizing that you're supposed to mess stuff up a whole bunch of times.

 

That guy that you're looking at that's really good at whatever you want to do, he's really good at it because he failed over and over again until he became good. It really is a pathway. It's not just a pathway to succeeding. It's also a pathway to discovery.

If you want to be the first person, regardless of your ability to do something, you're probably going to have fail a whole bunch of times to get there. It makes a whole lot of sense.

Jeremy: Most importantly though, did you get a trophy for finishing 43rd?
George: I did, as a matter of fact.
Mark: [laughs] How big was it?

 

[laughter]

George: Yeah, they wrote last place on it. It was great.

 

[laughter]

Mark: Last place. Losers that finished. [laughs]
George: In the last 10 years of my life I've become a relatively successful...Sometimes you have to define success in different ways, but I've become a relatively successful artist. I've had a couple really high profile art shows I've been in.

 

I was in a show at the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art. It was a show that was up for three months with 17 other artists from across the country. You were picked for that show purely on the merit of your work. The people who were on the selection committee for this, it was 17 different people who were assigned to go out and find people for the show, and they did that.

In Minneapolis, the guy who selected me, he sent out his assistant. He says, "Go find me some people stuff for artists that haven't been in any national shows who you think should be based on their stuff." She went out and found people and took pictures, and gave the pictures to Alec Soth, who's a very famous photographer out of Minneapolis. He ended up picking me out of the 10 or 12 people.

Then that went to a selection committee in Detroit for that show, and I ended up in that show. The reason that my art was chosen is that I had 30 years to practice. [laughs] I've been a professional woodworker.

People say, "Your work is amazing. The quality of your work is fantastic. Your finishes are just unbelievable." That's because I had 30 years of practice, 40 years of practice. I got to hone my skills as an artist, being an artist and a commercial woodworker blasted out the door.

There's not a lot of pretty in building plastic laminate cabinetry for dentist offices, and stores, and those kinds of things. It requires a fair amount of skill to do it effectively and make a living at it. I got to perfect my construction skills, my attention to detail, and that over a long period.

When I started doing my design, my art pieces, I've been successful at it. When people sometimes look at blind people and are not sure about, "How is a blind person...Can you be a designer?" "Yeah, I'm a designer."

I designed a product that sold over a million units. You have to find ways to get your...In my case, most of the time, if I want someone to see something that is a concept of mine, I'll go build a model. An actual physical model. You can keep it up and look at it.

Sometimes, depending on what it is, you can build them to scale. Sometimes you have to build them to a smaller scale to get your idea out. Sometimes building a scaled down model is a much more effective way of doing it.

Mark: I'm on your website right now, George, and I'll share that out so that people who are listening can see what you're talking about right now. Striking visual stuff here. The aesthetic is amazing.

 

I think that that's a good point, that sometimes people really don't understand that you can do things that are visually appealing, even if you don't have sight.

I had a quick story that I'll tell you, and we've got to wrap up here soon. When I was in college, I was in an acting class. I had a professor who was blind, named Dave Richmond. Incredible guy. First time I ever saw somebody read braille.

He was a stage director known for his visual content, known for really visually spectacular things. I think it's a good message for the whole world, just don't underestimate anybody. Your work is, from the pictures I'm looking at here, it's got a great aesthetic to it. It's very, very, very cool.

Jeremy: If someone wanted to sign up for one of your classes, George, on learning from you, someone who's extremely skilled on this, how would they go about signing up for one of those?
George: They're all done through San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind. Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco, is how their website is, but it's all done through there or Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind, either one.
Jeremy: OK, great. That's just in case there's people out there who want to sign up for that. That'd be great to know.
Mark: Yeah. We'll fill in those links as well. We're over time, but I think it's well worth it. This was great talking to you, George, and incredible story for doing the commercial. Obviously, you've had an incredible life and have been inspired and are inspiring, is how I would summarize you, based on this conversation.

 

What I'd like to hear from you though is, what does making this commercial mean to you, now that it's done? I'd like to hear from you too, Jeremy, in terms of what it means to you to have this out there and the way that it's out there.

George: Go, Jeremy.

 

[laughter]

Jeremy: I think the way that George approached it, it's pretty awesome. As I mentioned earlier, when you don't have sight, they say, "You're an inspiration." We're just like anybody else. I think that's the message that really comes across.

 

You experience things differently, but you're still human like everybody. It couldn't have had a better person than George be the guy that would, I say, spearhead this, because I hope that there's more stuff like this.

It'd be cool if they did a series with George doing various things like this. I think it's just an awesome message. The blind person's portrayed just great. It couldn't have been done any better. Just fantastic. You can get the blindness out in the mainstream even more.

Mark: George?
George: There you go. I think it's great. I can't say enough about Carmichael Lynch and their putting this thing together. They did it. Their sensitivity to how they listened to what I said. Before ever meeting me, they had put together some incredibly good thought processes about what they wanted it to be as well.

 

They deserve a lot of credit towards really looking at the human side of life and humanity, and how we wish our world would work in a daily encounter between people who are different than us.

Mark: That's a great way to put it. It's great to hear you talk like that about a process like this because I don't know that that's the norm. It's just great all around. I wish we had more time with you George. It was really interesting. I could sit here for another hour and hear about all of the things that you're doing.

 

Maybe there's another podcast in the future with all of us in it. I really do want to thank you for joining us, and talking about the commercial, and being a part of that, and doing what you've done for kids and the blind community, and, I think, humanity as a whole with being involved in these kind of things.

You obviously share yourself with other people in a great way. Thank you for all that. Any last words, Jeremy?

George: Thank you very much, sir.
Mark: All right. Go ahead, George.
George: Thank you for having me.
Mark: Yeah, you bet. Any last words, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Just another big thank you to George, shout out to him. Also, San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Enchanted Hills. Make sure you look those guys up. If you're interested in signing up for a class with George, you can do that. George, maybe next time we'll talk about the Arabian Horse Trade.
George: There you go. Hopefully, Fred Wurtzel in Michigan will listen to this. A big shout out to the stuff that they're doing there still at Camp Tuhsmeheta, Camp T.
Jeremy: Absolutely.
Mark: All right. This is Mark Miller, thanking George and my co-host, Jeremy, for a great podcast, and reminding you to keep it accessible.

 

[background music]

Recording: The IAP, Interactive Accessibility Podcast, is brought to you by Interactive Accessibility, the accessibility experts. You can find their "Access Matters" blog at interactiveaccessibility.com/blog.

 

[music]

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