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'Aha moments' sought for TV ads

A film crew will be rolling into town next week, capturing footage that could end up in national television commercials.

Western New Yorkers are invited to tell short stories on camera about a so-called "aha moment" in their lives -- a moment of realization that caused them to act or change in some way.

Mutual of Omaha will park an Airstream trailer in the Elmwood Village on Monday and Tuesday at 770 Elmwood Ave., next to the Globe Market. Inside the trailer will be a working recording studio where the clips will be recorded.

So what do aha moments have to do with insurance?

"Aha moments are all about possibilities," said Brittany Thoms, a Mutual of Omaha spokeswoman. "Insurance covers the possibilities that we don't want to see happen, whereas aha moments are about the possibilities that can change your life in a positive way."

Participants will receive a free movie scene slate "clapboard" inscribed with their name and a description of their moment. They will also receive a computer link to a professionally edited version of their clip.

If the clip is eventually used in a commercial, there is no further compensation other than the thrill of appearing in a national spot.

"For a lot of people who come out, it's a way to get their story out there," Thoms said. "For instance, someone who was laid off their job and decided to pursue their dream in starting a nonprofit has the chance at national publicity."

Previously filmed clips show people relating heartwarming or courageous memories. In one clip, a woman talks about how her experience growing up in the foster care system inspired her to take a job in social work. In another, a retired man talks about what made him return to his hometown to start a winery.

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