CROWN POINT- After eight months of construction, the Mega Mayonnaise Commercial Complex is set to finally open for business in Crown Point in just a few weeks.
The 130,000 square foot facility, which will be used as a film production studio for mayonnaise commercials, is set to be a hub of economic activity for Crown Point and the Midwest in general.
A spokesman for the project, James Dookeran, told us more about the MegaMayoCom²Plex project.
“When consumers think of mayonnaise, they think of the Midwest. From potluck dinners in Minnesota to the various dips and spreads every auntie brings to family gatherings in Ohio, to deviled eggs in Kansas: The world associates the Midwest with Mayonnaise. The MegaMayoCom²Plex will allow the companies that manufacture and market mayonnaise to tell that story using the most advanced cinematic techniques, real midwestern actors and extras, and the computer-generated imagery of the future.
“This isn’t going to just be a building full of backdrops, props, and high wire rigging for stunts involving people flying into the air because of their amazement at the bold, tangy zip of Miracle Whip, though it will have all those things. The MegaMayoCom²Plex is a bleeding edge, disruptive player in the condiment media space built for the future of the industry.
“The future of mayonnaise promotion isn’t huge budgets and special effects. It's acting. It's passion. (...)" - Independent Mayonnaise Commercial Director Erin Mavins
“On the pre-production side, there will be writers’ room facilities, art departments, equipment and prop rental, and an entire lighting company ready to service the mayonnaise commercial market. We’ll have postproduction amenities that will allow clients to edit and export commercial footage in 16K IMAX with digital animation, 3D rendering, and AI deepfake technology capable of simulating long deceased celebrities enjoying mayonnaise. Directors can take advantage technology for de-aging actors, real-time editing of line delivery that eliminates the need for ADR re-takes, even the creation of armies of extras using the UNREAL™️ engine when it suits their mayonnaise commercial's needs. The MegaMayoCom²Plex will offer all of this and more. “
The facility is expected to create over 150 full time employment positions, both in the commercial video space as well as in general service positions. In addition to specialized media roles, catering, cleaning, security, and childcare services will require full time staffing. Two full-time agricultural specialists will be on staff to manage two hectares of green space where produce for the complex’s commissary and catering will be grown.
"..instead of shooting live on location in front of the Sports Mascot Museum in Whiting, mayonnaise commercials just shoot in front of a green screen and throw footage of people playing cornhole in the background and call that “midwestern.” - Randy Quips, Mayonnaise commercial sound effects engineer
Not everyone we spoke to was purely optimistic about the effects that the MegaMayoCom²Plex would bring to the local business ecosystem, however.
Randy Quips, a sound engineer and foley artist from South Bend, voiced concerns that the MegaMayoCom²Plex would be a force for excessive centralization of media production in The Region.
“I’ve been doing sound effects for mayonnaise commercials in the South Bend region for a decade as an independent contractor. Used to be you could count on year-after-year repeat business with Duke’s, even the occasional international market contract for Kewpie that would bring producers into town from Japan when their economy was doing well. Those were all a big part of my yearly budget and the revenue of the South Bend Parks Department. Now instead of shooting live on location in front of the Sports Mascot Museum in Whiting, mayonnaise commercials just shoot in front of a green screen and throw footage of people playing cornhole in the background and call that “midwestern.” Where’s the realism? Where’s the edge? It’s only a matter of time before they just start filming in California, removing the actor’s tans, digitally altering them to have a higher body fat percentage, and using computers to have them all say ‘pop’ instead of ‘soda.’ Technology is destroying the Midwest’s mayonnaise commercial industry slowly but surely.”
"The world associates the Midwest with Mayonnaise. The MegaMayoCom²Plex will allow the companies that manufacture and market mayonnaise to tell that story..."- James Dookeran, MegaMayoCom²Plex Spokesperson
Independent video producer Erin Mavins of Miller Beach was skeptical of the both the MegaMayoCom²Plex and what she called “the legacy mayonnaise ad industry” she characterized Quips as a member of.
“The future of mayonnaise promotion isn’t huge budgets and special effects. It's acting. It's passion. It's gonzo candid video of real people eating real mayonnaise at golf outings and church fundraisers. I don’t care how much money you throw at a mayonnaise commercial, if it doesn’t show real people enjoying real, midwestern mayonnaise all you’re going to have is an expensive waste of time that people skip past on YouTube or worse, ignore and resent. If it doesn’t make you want a ham sandwich with an inch of Hellman’s, it’s worthless to me. I want the audience to have potato salad on the side. I want them eating the shit with a spoon over the sink. Anything less is just foreplay.”