By DAVID BORAKS
A video production crew swarmed the parking lot at Lake Norman Christian School off South Street Thursday, setting up lights, cameras and other equipment as they prepared to shoot a commercial for Under Armour athletic gear.
The one-day shoot even included a star – Kemba Walker of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.
Baltimore-based Under Armour picked the more than 65-year-old former Davidson IB Middle School – and specifically its ancient gymnasium – for its historic feel.
“The look and feel of the gym,” Steve Battista, a senior vice president and creative director for the athletic gear maker, said in the parking lot Thursday. “You couldn’t pay a set designer to build something like that. It’s so authentic and real.”
On Thursday, the gym was off limits to those not on the crew, and specifics of the TV spot are confidential until its debut in February, Under Armour spokeswoman Diane Pelkey said.
We’ve been in the gym before, and it’s definitely a throwback. Last year, town and county officials approved historic landmark status for the school complex, which dates from 1946. The gymnasium was built in 1937. The entire site has been a school since 1893, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. For many years it was the Davidson Elementary School. More recently, it had housed the Davidson IB Middle School, until 2011.
On Thursday, the school parking lot was filled with rented trucks, lights, microphones and other equipment, and technicians leaning over screens.
Thursday’s activity on South Street was the latest in a series of shoots that are building Davidson’s resume as a backdrop for TV and film. The town has attracted TV home shows and just last month brought a crew to Main Street to film a baby stroller commercial.
Feb. 20, 2012, DavidsonNews.net, “School, CMS back historic status for former IB school”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission web page on the Davidson School, 251 South St.
Previous installments in our ongoing “Life in Davidson” series.