This is the card most people remember. Today it
would be easy to superimpose, or collage, or photomanip. In analog 1988, I had to
be a little more clever than that.
The first step -- Put a HandyCam on a tripod and tape myself kissing
a pane of glass. Two lamps
were above and behind, to simulate a small appliance bulb in a white
box. I mugged for five minutes, giving plenty of different
combinations of lighting and position.
Second step ... Fake a running microwave oven. This required me
to dismantle mine and re-assemble it around a TV set.. I set aside the door assembly and the faceplate
for the controls. Then I took a sheet of paper and pasted it
to the backside of the faceplate, to make visible the red line indicating
that the timer had been set. I clipped a small red tree light and
wired it to a doorbell transformer. That became the phony
"on" indicator light.
Third step... Assemble the pieces on my kitchen
sink. I set it on some books for the right altitude, and
then fastened the door and faceplate to the front of the TV with duct
tape. The cables draped out the back to my VCR. I played the
tape I'd shot earlier until I found some frames that looked right through
the door, and froze the image.
Fourth... I put the metal cover assembly from the microwave on top of the
TV, and finished setting the stage by adding the dish soap, coffee cup,
and microwave platter. And of course, the small tree in the
The scene was photographed with my 35mm camera on a tripod, using a cable
release. I set a variety of speeds and apertures on the
camera. I also adjusted lighting, and brightness levels
on the TV. This particular shot was a one-second exposure, necessary
to eliminate TV scan lines.