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Borough motel star of MTV ad
Published in the Asbury Park Press 5/12/01

MTV PHOTO PAGE                  VIDEO CLIP

By ERIK LARSEN
STAFF WRITER

POINT PLEASANT BEACH -- Awkward boy wants dream girl. Girl thinks she's too good for boy. Boy impresses girl with his MTV. Girl falls passionately in love with boy.

So went the campy storyline for a 30-second television spot being filmed yesterday for the Music Television cable network at an Arnold Avenue motel.

"He's acting like a geek, she's a pool goddess," John Fernicola narrated for visitors. He was referring to the two 20-something actors wearing bathing suits and waiting for their cues at poolside.

Fernicola is the owner of Amethyst's Beach Motel, the setting for one of four ads -- entitled "Always On" -- being produced as part of a new image campaign for MTV.

"She won't pay him any attention, no matter how hard he tries," Fernicola explained. "So then he gives up and moves inside the motel, where he's dancing around to MTV. Well she sees him and decides he's worth paying attention to now. That's the story."

Beginning at 8 yesterday morning, dozens of film crew members and their equipment descended upon Fernicola's motel for 12 hours of work. Nine rooms at the motel were converted into wardrobe, make-up and sound-mixing studios.

Fernicola's daughter, Amber, watched the filming along with Nicole Perone, whose mother, Theresa, is the motel manager.

"It takes a lot of equipment, a lot of people to make a commercial," the 20-year-old observed. "We got to see how it all works, how people really act, it's amazing."

"It's not as simple as it seems," added Nicole Perone, 16.

The center courtyard pool, surrounded by the U-shaped motel, gave the motel the kind of generic feel needed for the spot, said John Maher, the MTV location manager who had a role in approving the site.

Ad producer Alexa Robinson said the Shore's proximity to New York -- where MTV is headquartered -- makes it a favorite haunt for the network's location scouts during the warmer months.

The spot is scheduled to begin airing on MTV either over Memorial Day weekend or during the MTV Movie Awards on June 2, she said.

Published on May 12, 2001