Britney Spears and 'NSYNC made a quick trip to Vancouver last weekend to shoot a McDonald's commercial, much to the delight of about 200 unsuspecting schoolkids who had been chosen as extras.
According to production manager Christian Allen, the casting call went out shrouded in secrecy, and most of the extras, aged six to 14, did not know they'd be seeing the performers until the curtain dropped to reveal Spears at the start of the shoot.
The production had originally been scheduled for Los Angeles, but last-minute union issues saw it move to a suburban Vancouver location. A McDonald's franchise in Surrey, British Columbia, was shut down from Thursday to Sunday as crews built a stage behind the restaurant in the shadow of its golden arches.
During the mock performance, which was staged on Saturday, Spears lip-synced her current hit, "Oops!... I Did It Again," while 'NSYNC did the same to its previous single, "Bye, Bye, Bye."
A spokesperson for the production company Flying Tiger Films told MTV News that the performers were flown in to Vancouver via private planes on Friday following 'NSYNC's performance in Pasadena. The group, who played Oakland, California on Sunday, will return to Vancouver for a concert June 14.
Security at the shoot was extremely tight, and the few members of the media who managed to find the set were kept at arms' length. Freelance photographer Jeff Vinnick told MTV News that he paid the resident of a house next door to the restaurant $300 to allow him to shoot from the balcony, which overlooked the high fences that had been erected around the set. He was soon spotted by the production crew, and according to Vinnick, the crew suspended the operation until a crew member could be dispatched to offer the home owner more money to ask the photographer to leave.
There's no word as yet as to when the commercial will be aired.