Callaway Golf swings by Strip to shoot ads

There's plenty of driving going on along the Strip this week. And we're not just talking cars.

Callaway Golf and its roster of pro golfers -- including marquee names from Arnold Palmer to Phil Mickelson -- will hit the Strip to shoot TV commercials, print ads and online footage for two separate campaigns.

The Mirage's signature volcano provides the backdrop Tuesday night, while Bellagio's equally famous fountains share the spotlight with Callaway golfers Wednesday night. Plans also call for helicopters to capture aerial shots.

Calling those shots: Grammy-winning director Joseph Kahn, whose music video credits include Katy Perry's oh-so-appropriate "Waking Up in Vegas."

On Thursday and Friday afternoons, the action shifts south to the Callaway Golf Center across from Town Square; DreamVision Studios' three soundstages also figure in the shoot, which is scheduled to continue through Saturday.

The made-in-Vegas commercials will start airing in January and continue through the summer months.

As for the choice of Las Vegas as the setting for the Callaway campaigns, "Las Vegas is an internationally recognizable location that matches up very well" with the company's theme of "serious performance, serious fun," says Tim Buckman , Callaway's vice president of global communications.

GOING, GOING, "PAWN": If you're planning a holiday audience with Las Vegas' very own "Pawn Stars," better get a move on.

That's because the denizens of downtown's Gold & Silver Pawn who headline the top-rated show plan to take a break after this week.

Since "Pawn Stars" became a cable TV favorite, the store's daily visitor count has increased -- from about 70 a day to the current 4,000 to 5,000, according to "Pawn Stars" publicist Laura Herlovich.

But she has a tip for us locals: Show your ID to the security guard and you won't have to wait like the out-of-towners do.

Meanwhile, at "Pawn Stars' " sister show, "American Restoration," the cameras keep rolling all this week -- and well into the following week.

Unlike the Pawn Stars, who evaluate items, "we have to actually build stuff," observes Kelly Dale, whose husband Rick leads the "Restoration" team that rebuilds vintage items from soda-pop machines to slots.

TRIPLE THREAT: Las Vegas-based filmmaker Albert Pyun doesn't start principal photography on his production, "Cyborg: Rise of the Slingers," until early January.

But he's hardly on hiatus.

This week, he's calling the shots on camera tests and auditions for "Cyborg: Rise of the Slingers," a "loose follow-up" that "expands on the universe" created in the 1989 original -- which, as you may recall, starred Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Pyun's also putting the finishing touches on "Road to Hell," which was "totally shot with Vegas talent, top to bottom."

Among the Vegas talent featured in the movie: the local band The Roxy Gunn Project. Last week, Pyun and colleagues recorded songs for "Road to Hell" at the Palms' "world class" recording studio, reports Pyun, who says he has received more than 30 inquiries regarding a distribution deal for the movie.

As for "Tales of an Ancient Empire," Pyun's third made-in-Vegas feature -- make that made-in-the-desert-outside-Vegas feature -- that one's scheduled to surface on DVD and cable in late January.

'BUD'-DY SYSTEM: Also this week, Las Vegas' Levy Production Group will have more than 20 camera crews rolling around town Wednesday through Saturday for Budweiser's "Band of Buds" finals; it's the second year Levy has shot online footage of the competition.

Carol Cling's Shooting Stars column appears Mondays. Contact her at (702) 383-0272 or ccling@reviewjournal. com.