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INSIDE THEIR HEADS

Campaign Brief interview with KV Sridhar

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   INDIA    May 12, 2014 22:24 (Edited: May 12, 2014 12:24)
http://www.bestadsontv.com/includes/image.php?image=s3://bestadsontv.com/thumbs/b58ad_0000.png&width=200For our friends in the Indian industry. Campaign Brief Asia interviews KV Sridhar, one of the country's most respected creative directors at the recent New York Festivals judging. The interview was conducted prior to the recent announcement late last week that he is to join SapientNitro as chief creative officer in India. In this interview Pops, as he is commonly known, talks about his decision to leave Leo Burnett after 17 years; his career; the people he has worked with at Leo Burnett; and the current state of creativity in India.

VIEW THE INTERVIEW (28min)

Inside the head of Michelle Stapleton, MD of Wanted Films, UK

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   UK    October 11, 2006 08:37 (Edited: October 10, 2006 22:37)
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Q&A with Michelle Stapleton, MD and founder of Wanted Films, UK

By the way ... NONE of the interviews on bestads are paid-for advertorials.

bestads: How do you start up a film production company from zero?

Michelle Stapleton:
With a lot of passion, belief in yourself and the directors who believe in you and the will to want to do things your way, take the risks and be an employer rather than an employee

bestads: and then 10 years later do it all over again?

Michelle Stapleton:
Wanting to do it alone, with one single direction. And go back to being “Small Is Beautiful”


bestads: One year & 8 directors down the track, are you wishing you’d taken up accountancy?

Michelle Stapleton:
No, far too creative for me

bestads: We featured the new Phones 4u ads last week. They’ve been described as “out there”. Tell us a bit about them.
http://www.bestadsontv.com/files/thumbnails/2006/Sep/Paddling.jpg
Michelle Stapleton:
Fantastic commercials basically where the agency has been allowed to do some gutsy advertising with the backing of a brave and respectful client and it’s paid off. Sadly, these days, the majority of clients not only think they can do the job of the agency but do it better and agencies won’t argue their point in fear of losing that account

Click here to view one of the Phones4u spots.

By and large clients these days have no respect for their agency. Agencies are treated like an internal department within the company and just told what to write, how to shoot it and how they want it edited. Marketing Director’s wives have more say in how an ad should look than a Creative Director does.

Phones 4 U shows you how strong advertising can still be when a talented, experienced and passionate creative team and director are allowed to create a strong, clear film that works and is also funny and entertaining. There is still hope.

Remember the Hamlet Campaign, Carling Black Label, Martini, Orange tango to name but a few great pieces of advertising when the respect for the industry was still there.

bestads: Is there any other work you’re especially proud of that you’d like to tell us about (& perhaps we should be having a look at)?

Michelle Stapleton:
Yes – several commercials that I have either produced or exec produced as well as a couple of shorts that I am very proud of. In terms of commercials, Keep London Tidy “Fairy Litter” and Playstation’s “Fire First” both directed by Seb Edwards, Volvo and Mazda by Selby and then of course there are the Tony Kaye ads I worked on including Nike “Kick It” (written by Chris Palmer when he ran Simons Palmer and Dunlop). I’m also proud of “Unexpected” conceived by Tom Carty and Walter Campbell when they were at Abott Mead Vickers and finally Phones 4 U directed by Brian Baderman and produced by Vanessa Hetherington both at Wanted Films.
The shorts include ‘Big’ directed by Sara Dunlop which won Rushes Soho Short Film Festival and ‘Juvenile’, a film I have just exec produced, directed by China and produced by Jess Ensor through Wanted Films.

http://wantedfilms.tv/


https://www.bestadsontv.com/news/upload/Michelle-Publicity.jpg



bestads: ... and now for the questions that we put to loads of production companies: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?

Michelle Stapleton:
Through constant dialogue, keeping them up-to-date with all your work. Building relationships with the producers and creatives and earning their respect when you are lucky enough to work with them, and directing a job that you are all proud of so they think of you the next time round


bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?

Michelle Stapleton:
Yes, but that’s advertising and there is nothing you can do other than to feel proud that even if they didn’t work with you both you and they know where a certain idea came from.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?

Michelle Stapleton:
I assume you mean charity by no money.
In which case you do them for both reasons. But you are aware from the outset what the deal is and therefore do the job as you would a budgeted production. Although it must be said it’s easier to do a charity job for nothing than it is a huge, well-known, product ad for nothing.


bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)

Michelle Stapleton:
Do the best pitch you can. Support your director, be passionate and you’ll get it.

bestads: the best scripts always come with the worst budgets .... True / false

Michelle Stapleton:
False


bestads: the smaller the idea, the bigger the effort .... True / false

Michelle Stapleton:
Not as simple as a true or false. Depends on the product and the client’s real belief in their product. If everyone shows a true belief in the product then it doesn’t matter how small or big the idea is.


bestads: You can’t really afford to be truthful in this sort of interview ... True / false

Michelle Stapleton:
Where have I been false?

bestads: having a roster of directors is like having a large family ... True / false

Michelle Stapleton:
FALSE. The 2 are completely separate. Home is home, work is work.


bestads: the future of production is: scripts written & shot by the punters, edited & post produced on a laptop, the sound guy does the track in his bedroom, the client’s wife is the research, & it gets sent out as a viral. .... True / false


Michelle Stapleton:
False. Just my point when talking about Phones 4 U campaign, the state of the industry and the lack of respect.

If advertising / production is that easy. Then
Go ahead produce them that way and I will select a panel of respected industry figures along with myself to judge them and we will make the “X Factor” of advertising.

Inside the head of John Brocklehurst, MD Mob Films, UK

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   UK    August 16, 2006 07:06 (Edited: August 15, 2006 21:06)
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Inside the head of John Brocklehurst, Managing Director of the Mob Film Company, UK. The Mob have worked on commercials such as Coca Cola, Playstation, Mercedes, BT, Smirnoff, Cadburys and British Airways.


bestads: the best scripts always come with the worst budgets .... True / false

John Brocklehurst: False.

You can get some great scripts with great budgets. However, you have certain brands such as Sony Playstation who realise that most young directors dream of doing one of these spots to put on their reel, and as prod co producer who has shot two of these ads then i know that the client and agency take advantage of this.

bestads: the smaller the idea, the bigger the effort .... True / false

John Brocklehurst: True.

I think that when a director and creatives have a very simple idea, they tend to want the best of everything to compensate for this fact. It makes them feel that they are being clever.

bestads: TV adverts are just like feature films, but more so .... True/ false

John Brocklehurst: False.

Absolute rubbish. An ad is selling a product or a brand, thats all it should do. Films help you escape everyday life and take you to another place in your head where you dont think about work, bills etc. Well a good film does anyway.

bestads: budgets are set in concrete, until the client comes up with an idea ..... True / false

John Brocklehurst: False.

A good agency and a good client will realise that a script is continually developing and sometimes there is a need for extra funds. I find that as long as you are honest and upfront with them, this is never a problem.

bestads: having a roster of directors is like having a large family ... True / false

John Brocklehurst: In the Mob Film Company this is absolutely true.

You all have to get on and when you are looking for new directors the first thing you think about after seeing the reel and meeting them is will they get on with the other guys. This is absolutely vital.

bestads: having a prodn co that does TV, Film & advertising is like having a wife & 2 lovers (I’m not sure which is which). They mustn’t know about each other. .... True / false

John Brocklehurst: False.

Always be proud of your work!

bestads: the future of production is: scripts written & shot by the punters, edited & post produced on a laptop, the sound guy does the track in his bedroom, the client’s wife is the research, & it gets sent out as a viral. .... True / false

John Brocklehurst: False.

Definitely need to have punter feedback and loose these ridiculous arty farty ads that nobody understands. i love ads that make me laugh and dont take themselves too seriously. For example, Sheila's Wheels, the one with the aussie bloke on the stage. Fucking brilliant, anybody you ask they know the tune, and the product and it makes them smile. Ads need to be produced to a very high standard, if a punter is watching 30 secs of tv then it need to look good. HD or film all the way. The great things about virals is you dont have to follow the ridiculous rules of the BACC, so therefore they tend to be much more creative and a bit risque. If they are any good then they will reach a lot more people in a lot more places for free!

http://www.bestadsontv.com/files/thumbnails/2006-Aug/Pringles- Keepy Uppy.jpg


Click here to view recent MOB FILMS spot "Keepy Uppy".

(By the way folks, none of this is paid for "advertorial" ... we're just interested in what key people in the industry think. bestads)

inside the head of an animation company head .. huh?

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   UK    April 06, 2006 03:42 (Edited: April 05, 2006 17:42)
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A chat with Chris O’Reilly - joint MD/co-founder of Nexus Productions.

bestads: You started in London & have since opened in Paris. Is this the road the world domination? What’s the history of nexus & where do you see it going?
Chris O’Reilly: Charlotte Bavasso and I started Nexus eight years ago. Originally we were a division of a Japanese company, but then we bought them out and separated off.

Opening in Paris was a natural evolution for us. Charlotte is French and we’ve always had French directors on our reel. The talent in France is excellent and there are interesting projects coming from there too. Not sure about the road to world domination! We’re enjoying the winding back routes.

bestads: Any plans to move into non-animated areas?
Chris O’Reilly: Our company plan was to focus on the new generation of filmmakers and artists who had embraced digital film making techniques, with a strong focus on animation. However we always had broader filmmaking interests. Live-action and animation hybrid work has been a massive part of our repertoire, and quite a lot of live-action only work too. Right now we’re involved in three totally live-action projects. Ultimately our interest is in talent not techniques.


bestads: We’ve featured 8 Nexus spots on bestads. That’s got to be a record for an animation company for our site. Any interesting work in the pipeline (that you’d be allowed tell us about)?
Chris O’Reilly: We’ve got quite a few projects going through that I’m excited about. Hopefully some will surprise and delight enough to make it on again!

bestads: So ‘Grrr’ is being submitted to the Guinness book of records! What’s the thinking there?
Chris O’Reilly: We’ve been told this... It has won a lot of awards - pretty much everything it entered. It’s been at a disadvantage being animated as it can’t win quite so many craft awards (editing, art direction, cinematography etc) so I don’t know whether it will get that honour.

bestads: Smith & Foulkes, Smith & Foulkes, Smith & Foulkes ... Do the other directors get a bit peeved at all of the attention these guys have been getting?
Chris O’Reilly: They have been pretty hard to avoid of late, but the other directors here all hold their own against them pretty well! I think we have a diverse roster, and I think the directors all have similarly diverse ambitions.

bestads: Maybe now’s a good time to mention the feature film title sequences you’ve done. I remember sitting in the cinema being mightily impressed by these!
Chris O’Reilly: These have been great fun projects to work on. Feature titles get a global exposure that commercials rarely get. Kuntzel + Deygas’s work for Catch Me If You Can was even parodied on The Simpsons. Now that is an accolade Grrr! never had!

bestads: Where do you see animation ( & advertising for that matter!) heading from here?
Chris O’Reilly: We’re in a time of exciting change. I think its important for companies like ours to be flexible and recognise which strengths are universal and enduring. Where ever there is excellent design with strong storytelling, we want to be there. That’s what I’m backing for the future.

bestads: Any tips for creatives ... if they’re thinking about writing for an animated treatment?

Chris O’Reilly: I think it’s always good when a creative team get the animation company in early to develop the project. With animation you have to create a whole coherent universe and working with the directors who understand their techniques and styles inside out, can make the script work better. Almost all our good work comes from these co-operative trusting relationships.

(see all of the work at www.nexusproductions.com)

Inside the producer's head.

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS    February 23, 2006 00:00 (Edited: February 22, 2006 13:00)
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Inside the head of ... Caroline Rowland, MD, founder and Exec Producer of New Moon, the only UK production company that specialises in broadcast, corporate and commercials all at the same time. New Moon were responsible for the two Olympic bid films that helped win the London 2012 bid. Caroline is also founder and producer of Moongate Films, a feature film production company.

bestads: Does it get a bit tricky doing broadcast, corporate and commercials all at the same time?
Caroline Rowland: Very rarely. I have 3 brilliant heads of department who are specialists in their area so I just get to bask in reflected glory.

bestads: ... And does the ad industry regard the corporate work as the poor relation?
Caroline Rowland: Sometimes. But I think that’s changing as the media landscape changes. Films like “Inspiration” and “Sport at Heart” are proving that corporate work is often as creative, epic and influential as the best 30” spots running as TV ads.

bestads: Why were there two London 2012 films? (& how did you guys get both?)
Caroline Rowland: The first was a celebration of London aimed at consumers to engage their support for London’s bid. The second is a celebration of the Olympic Games and its power to inspire. 2012 were so delighted with the first film, they commissioned us to make the film for the IOC without a pitch.

bestads: So ... Not busy enough with all of that you launch a feature film arm?!!
Caroline Rowland: Well, you know. Fill the unforgiving minute and all that …

bestads: Any advice for struggling film companies?
Caroline Rowland: Learn to love the Studio system.

bestads: ... and now for the questions that we put to loads of producers over the past couple of weeks:

There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Caroline Rowland: Hire the best-looking, smartest, funniest people in Soho and occupy the space above the Shaston Arms!!

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Caroline Rowland: Absolutely – and what a question!

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Caroline Rowland: No, why? Should I? Surely no-one in advertising is that unscrupulous?!

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Caroline Rowland: Definitely a chance to shine – and a great way to give young directors an opportunity to get on the Agencies radars.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Caroline Rowland: Dazzle the Agency with witty repartee and then slam dunk the pitch with uber-efficient organisation!

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Caroline Rowland: False. It’s also about the thrill of making something great. Creative procreation.

Inside the producer's head ... part 2

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS    February 02, 2006 01:32 (Edited: February 01, 2006 14:32)
...continuing from last week, we have a few more insightful comments from production company producers around the world.
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Apologies for the format of putting the same questions to everyone. And sorry to the producers whose comments weren't posted.

From Neale Ferguson, Exec. Producer Notorious 24:7 (USA)
www.notorious247.com


bestads: There are quite a few production companies outthere. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Neale Ferguson: Bite, scream, kick and present good reels.

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Neale Ferguson: Directors are comodities........ the relationship is nothing like marriage...... I'd hate to sleep with some of the directors on our roster.

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Neale Ferguson: We always send out a few fakes as well so no one really knows which is the official treatment, only the ECD gets that via sealed envelope.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Neale Ferguson: We only do them if the creative is good..... business is business

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Neale Ferguson: What we always do..... our best

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Neale Ferguson: There are creative Producers and money Producers...... I'm in the former camp......

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Neale Ferguson: I don't have time to do your job as well as write treatments for directors......sorry!

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from Adam Sawers @ Godman (UK)

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Adam Sawers: Director and Producer tend to alternate in the pants wearing department. It depends on who is feeling the strongest at that particular
moment in time!

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Adam Sawers: The business is full of plagiarism. You have to accept that this goes with the territory and not get too hung up when you see your ideas on the screen.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Adam Sawers: Definately a chance to shine.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it‚s okay ... you can tell us ˆ people don‚t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Adam Sawers: Great treatment, getting it right on the money and making sure the chemistry flows with all the concerned parties.

bestads: he life of a producer .... It‚s all about the budget. True / False.
Adam Sawers: Absolutely false. A Producer always has to think creatively. Having said that the budget tends to crop up in 95% of all conversations.......!

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... From Catherine Kerr, Pod Film (Australia)

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Catherine Kerr: Absolutely it's like a marriage but without the sex which makes it more stressful as you have to talk about it all after a fight. Who wears the pants - well that's down to personality.

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Catherine Kerr: Well, that is something that you have to consider so we have decided to put a little copyright note down the bottom of all treatments to stop that sort of thing happening. I mean its hard to control something like that when it is out of your hands, but you have to have faith or you couldn't keep giving it your best shot, besides it's still up to the interpretation and directors craft to deliver it all on screen. Treatments are becoming an industry on their own which is slightly disturbing as people are now hiring good writers to do them and not enough agency folk are reviewing the treatment with the reel. Any good writer can do fiction !

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Catherine Kerr: We have just recently made a couple of great Charity jobs, they can be a great chance for directors to collaborate with creatives on a really nice spot for the reel or in fact really make a stand on an important issue. I always ask the question though whether there is commitment re air time behind it , as being an old left wing from wayback - you really want to think they can help someone. My favourite one of all time was for the RSPCA here in Australia which ran after Xmas reminding people that animals were a commitment for life. They put down something like 8,000 animals and we all felt like we were really helping that change that statistic.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Catherine Kerr: Terrier dog persistance and effort and a bloody good treatment with an extra spoonful of passion from the director.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Catherine Kerr: True - whether there's not enough or good enough money it's still down to how you spend it that gives you the great result on TV. I've seen waste either way that could have fed a small African nation.

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From Roi MacGregor, Silverscreen Productions, New Zealand

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Roi MacGregor: wearing see through tops with no bra used to work, but now we just impress with the work we carry, and our sheer determination to solve their problems financially, creatively and above all, easily.

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Roi MacGregor: we both wear pants because let's face it, if the producer is a pussy then the director is going to end up with their pants down anyway

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Roi MacGregor: always

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Roi MacGregor: as long as it is not a pre-determined favour (i.e."if you do this for us we'll give you a really big job soon...." - never happens) then take the script on its own merit.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it's okay ... you can tell us - people don't remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Roi MacGregor: wear see through tops, brainstorm it until it bleeds and do the best possible treatment and budget - it doesn't matter if anyone reads that because I'm sure that is what everybody does anyway?

bestads: the life of a producer .... It's all about the budget. True / False.
Roi MacGregor: False

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we're not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Roi MacGregor: Why do budgets shrink? Why do directors and creatives talk to each other about jobs with no producer present and then can't understand why it all turns to custard? Why aren't there more incredible suits out there? Why do creatives constantly overwrite scripts that have no budgets? why is the sky blue?

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From Jim Golden...Co-Executive Producer: Rascal Films, Ltd. in NY...

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
producer: Good directors on your roster is a start...

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Jim Golden: Pants? I get pants? Nobody said anything about pants!!!

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Jim Golden: Not really a worry. We know there's a Chinese Wall between us and our esteemed competition. Maybe.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Jim Golden: Happy to do them. NOT happy to be quadruple bid on them, though...

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Jim Golden: Beg, plead and blackmail seems to work pretty well. It helps to have some Polaroids of the creative director in a compromising position with livestock...

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Jim Golden: False. It's about recognition from your peers, doing the greater good and making your mortgage payments.

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Jim Golden: 1. Describe the universe in twenty-five words or less and give me two examples.
2. Why do I sneeze when I walk outside into the sun?

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From Donna Svanberg, Capitol Productions (Australia).

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Donna Svanberg: with great difficulty; a good red usually works

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Donna Svanberg: as long as someone is wearing pants

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Donna Svanberg: nope. it’s there to be read; keeping creative ideas under wraps doesn’t win jobs

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Donna Svanberg: a chance of freedom and the opportunity to really show what we can do

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Donna Svanberg: bribery

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Donna Svanberg: sadly this is true of the current climate; I believe things work in cycles, so...........

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Donna Svanberg: et’s share a red and I’ll tell you more.

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From Gary King, Executive producer at Picture Tree (South Africa):

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Gary King: By doing good work. Good showreels get good work.

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Gary King: It's a gay relationship.

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Gary King: Yes. It comes down to who you work with, and we work with people we like and trust. This business is all about building relationships.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Gary King: A chance to shine and a chance to give back if you really believe in the cause.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it‚s okay ... you can tell us ˆ people don‚t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Gary King: We contemplate sending gifts, threats or trips to the Bahamas and then turn to our researchers to unleash the passion and the magic of a great treatment.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It‚s all about the budget. True / False.
Gary King: Partly. And then it's about relationships and LOTS of talking on the telephone!

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we‚re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Gary King: You should be asking what my telephone bill is, if I manage to ever see my family and how often I go to the shrink.

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From L J Jeneski, Exec Producer, Nonfiction Spots, Santa Monica/New York

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
L J Jeneski: Nonfiction is unique in that our directors’ roster is made up of documentary filmmakers for spots - Sundance and Academy Award award winners among them. Ad agencies tend to find us when they are looking for the real deal .

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
L J Jeneski: We take turns wearing the pants. I’m here to support the Director’s creative vision. But I’m also the conduit between the agency and the director, so there are times when the director needs to listen to those concerns as well.

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
L J Jeneski: Not really. We note that creative treatments and ideas presented by the director as new to the project are intellectual property. That, and I have a friend, a very big guy, who lives in the neighborhood...

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
L J Jeneski: PSAs - Love them when the cause is just and the creative is great.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
L J Jeneski: When directors falls in love with boards, they go all out on creative input and treatments. And I’ll fly a director across the country to meet with creatives instead of just getting on a call.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
L J Jeneski: True. And False. Nothing tops great creative, but you gotta have the budget to make it happen.

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
L J Jeneski: Who the hell started this bidding 5 directors on one job thing? How is it that I get booked into these fabulous hotels with great gyms and never get to use them? Where are the next generation of kick ass directors coming from?

Inside the head of a production company producer

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS    January 25, 2006 19:37 (Edited: January 25, 2006 08:37)
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Often it's all about the director, but this week we're trying to get inside the heads of the production company producers. We put some questions to producers around the world & here are a few replies. (We just chose a few at random ... sorry to those whose comments didn't get posted. We'll try to post more later)

From Lizzie Gower, Academy Films, London.

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Academy: by having good showreels

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Academy: the director

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Academy: no never

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Academy: its good to put something for free back into the industry

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
producer:we employ researchers, and work till midnight for a week on the treatment and try and get back in to the agency to present it to the creatives rather than e mail it in.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Academy: false, wouldn’t want to do the job if it was only number crunching a good producer makes a creative contribution to the production.
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From Wilf Sweetland, Exit Films, Melbourne, Australia

bestads: There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
producer: Let the work of the Director speak for you

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Exit: Exactly like a marriage, although the Director is having an affair on the side with their real wife. I definitely wear the pants - I just get told what colour to wear

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Exit: Don't really worry about it because it has happened and there is nothing you can do.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Exit: A real chance to do challenging work under challenging circumstances

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Exit: Whatever is necessary.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Exit: True, but in a creative way. Helping to achieve someone's visions under constraints of a budget make it that way.

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From Matthew Charde, Global Mechanic, USA

[b]bestads:
There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Global Mechanic: SOUNDS TRITE...BUT GOOD WORK

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Global Mechanic: KINDA LIKE WE’RE CO-CAPTAINS OF THE TEAM....BUT THE DIRECTOR ALWAYS WINS THE COIN TOSS

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Global Mechanic: WORRY? NO. HOPE THAT IT IS STOLEN? HEY- ANYWAY I CAN GET OUR IDEAS IN FRONT OF CREATIVE I'LL TAKE...CLEARLY IT IS BEST IF IT IS DONE THE TRADITIONAL CLIENT / VENDOR WAY...BUT REMEMBER- “IT ALL COMES AROUND”. I PLAN ON STICKING IN THIS BIZ LONG ENOUGH TO SEE IT COME AROUND A FEW MORE TIMES AGAIN.

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Global Mechanic: CHANCE TO SHINE...NO QUESTION.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Global Mechanic: CONSISTENCY....GOOD CALL, GREAT CREATIVE TREATMENT, FAIR PRICING....AND REMEMBERING TO SAY “PLEASE” AND “THANK YOU”. IF THAT DOESN’T GET THE WORK, THEN WE WERE NOT GOING TO GET IT ANYWAY.

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Global Mechanic: NOTHING BEATS A WELL FUNDED GREAT BOARD. SECOND CHIOCE? HMMM...DEPENDS ON THE TIME OF THE YEAR!

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Global Mechanic: WHY DO AGENCY PRODUCERS (AND CREATIVES) ALWAYS TALK ABOUT LOOKING FOR NEW TALENT AND THEN HARDLY EVER USE THEM?
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From KAI STÖCKER, Cobblestone, Germany.

bestads:There are quite a few production companies out there. How do you get the attention of the agencies?
Cobblestone: we try to get good stuff on the screens, ideally our directors' visions and cuts. Its still the best PR you can get.

bestads: Is the producer/ director relationship like a marriage & if so who wears the pants?
Cobblestone: In Germany directors work with different producers in one company. Producers can be good sparing partners but creativity has to come from the director.

bestads: When you send out a treatment of a script do you worry about who might steal it?
Cobblestone: No. Thats part of the business. If that is happening, your director might be a good creative, but his reel sucks or you're doing something wrong as a production company. Otherwise they would take your good ideas and do the project with YOU...

bestads: PSA (charity) ads ... A necessary evil (paying back favours) or a chance to shine?
Cobblestone: If there would be more brillant ideas for this category it could be a chance to shine and a good thing to invest money in. At least it's for something helpful and not only for the glory of a creative director.

bestads: A great script comes in. You really want the job. What do you do to make it happen? (it’s okay ... you can tell us – people don’t remember what they read on the net. Scientific fact.)
Cobblestone: ... our charming tools are endless ...

bestads: the life of a producer .... It’s all about the budget. True / False.
Cobblestone: budgets got more important in recent years. But it's more about finding new ways to live with the given budgets and still give good value for money

bestads: Insert the questions we SHOULD be asking right here. (we’re not journalists after all ... We just work in advertising & run a website on the side).
Cobblestone: What comes after 30 seconds?

Inside the director's head.

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   USA    November 10, 2005 01:17 (Edited: November 09, 2005 14:17)
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Inside the head of .... .
We put those familiar questions to Henry Littlechild, Director @ Outsider


bestads: So what drew you to the dark side ... directing?

HL: I HAD ALL THE ATRIBUTES; SLIGHTLY PARANOID, UNSURE OF MYSELF, WITH NOT THAT GREAT COMINCATION SKILLS.

bestads: Doing the gig ... no problem. Getting the gig ... hmmm.

HL: IT’S THE OTHER WAY ROUND ISN’T IT?

bestads: The only thing between you and a gold lion is ... (most scripts? The client? The process ...?)

HL: BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. IT’S OVERATED.

bestads: Shoot days: The lifeblood? The drug? Or accelerated aging?

HL: THEY ARE THE REASON I DO IT.

bestads: The Pack Shot ... The devil incarnate?

HL: WHAT’S A PACKSHOT?

bestads: What’s your personal secret to managing all of the “personalities” involved in any one project?

HL: SHOUTING

bestads: Shoot with your mobile/ cell phone, edit & post FX on your lap top, output as quicktime, upload to net. Bingo. Now if we just dispense with the client! Where’s it all heading? At the end of the day ...

HL: DON’T ASK ME. I’M NOT EVEN SURE HOW THE REMOTE WORKS

Inside the director's head.

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   USA    October 28, 2005 20:20 (Edited: October 28, 2005 10:20)
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Chuck Bennett, Director @ Big Lawn Films

(Chuck Bennett enjoyed a prolific career as a Creative Director at a number of high-profile advertising agencies. As a director, he has helmed ads for a range of national brands such as Diet Dr. Pepper, Expedia, Nissan, Taco Bell, Subway, and Energizer, working with agencies GSD&M, TBWA/Chiat/Day, WongDoody, DDB, J. Walter Thompson, MMB and Y&R, among others.)

bestads: So what drew you to the dark side ... directing?
Chuck: The directors always seemed to have the coolest cars, so I figured it must be a good thing. In addition to the car envy part, after years as a agency creative and creative director I realized what I liked best about my job was actually coming up with the ideas and then shooting them. Everything else in between was a little boring.
bestads: Doing the gig ... no problem. Getting the gig ... hmmm
Chuck: . Getting the gig is definitely the hard part, but I really enjoy that part of the process. Having been on the agency side of a ton of “creative calls” I certainly understand the importance of “the call”. Knowing that, I really try to prepare myself and have a clear vision for the spot. The more thinking I can bring to the call, the better. I work closely with my executive producer and strategize our approach. It’s a little like pitching new business at the agency. There’s always a fear of going too far or saying the wrong thing, but at some point you just have to say and do what you believe is the right thing and see what happens from there. Long, awkward silences on the other end of the call are usually a good indication that things aren’t going well. We also try to avoid having calls on the same day the agency loses a big piece of business. I like writing treatments, doing research and gathering visual reference. Again, like pitching new business. I have yet to resort to making threats to get jobs, but it’s not out of the question. I especially like the part where we find out we didn’t get the job by seeing the spot on TV…
bestads: The only thing between you and a gold lion is ... (most scripts? The client? The process ...?)
Chuck: A really good idea. A little luck. Not seeing the words “Cut to animated product demo” accompanied by a whole page of voice-over copy.
bestads: Shoot days: The lifeblood? The drug? Or accelerated aging?
Chuck: I love shooting. People hand you latte’s and call you “Sir”. The account people are wearing jeans. The client is wearing jeans. And there’s nothing like seeing all those trucks in the morning--so many cool toys. All the worrying, all the meetings and all the talk. It all comes down to this shining moment of truth—there it is, right there on the monitor. Hey, my damn latte is cold!
bestads: The Pack Shot ... The devil incarnate?
Chuck: Seems to be a necessary evil--We are trying to sell something, after all. Hopefully we don’t have to shoot anything, but if we do hopefully we’ve figured out how to make it cool (as cool as a very expensive cardboard box can be). We always tend to shoot this shot at the end of the day when everyone is tired and cranky. As painful as it is, we’ve actually taken to trying to get the shot done early in the day. That way the client can kick back and spend some quality time with their laptops, Blueberrys, cell phones and other various electronic devices. Clever.
bestads: What’s your personal secret to managing all of the “personalities” involved in any one project?
Chuck: I just try to figure out who the smartest people are and spend my time with them. Besides that, I usually sit next to the client at the pre-pro meeting and touch them in a gentle and loving manner under the table while I go through the shooting board. Throwing around a few buzz-words like “brand personality” and “strategic communication” helps
bestads: Shoot with your mobile/ cell phone, edit & post FX on your lap top, output as quicktime, upload to net. Bingo. Now if we just dispense with the client! Where’s it all heading?
Chuck: At the end of the day ... I am fascinated with the potential of the internet as “another channel” for advertising. It really doesn’t matter how it gets shot or where we see it, if the idea is crap, the party’s pretty much over. There seems to be a certain freedom associated with the medium and supposedly we can do things that could be deemed too “risky” for network television. How many of us typed “hump the sofa” into the Subservient Chicken site? I also like the fact that anyone looking at an “ad” on the Internet has chosen to do so. It does put more pressure on the work to be really entertaining, which is cool. We want to be doing work that entertains and rewards. Of course, some brand manager will come along, do some fancy quantitative research and figure out a way to fuck it all up. Can I say fuck here? (Of course I can, it’s the internet. It’s wild. It’s crazy.) What was the “dispensing with the client” part?

Inside the director's head.

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   USA    October 24, 2005 06:46 (Edited: October 23, 2005 20:46)
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bestads: I used to play in rock and roll bands. I was hitch-hiking to a gig one time (!) and the guy who gave me a ride said “... Unbelievable man ... You’re doing exaclty what you want, getting paid a fecking fortune and picking up the babes afterwards!!!”  So I guess directing is just like that .... but more so??????????

from Backyard Director, Tim Abshire:
Oh yeah, moreso.  Especially If you like to fly across the country to have scripted slow motion oral sex with Mrs. Butterworth for cash until video village gives you the thumbs up... yes.  Directing is just like that.

OR

First of all, I'd say it's more aspirational for you to be an ex-soccer dad instead of playing in the rock and roll band, and you definitely weren't hitchhiking, because Jane in legal said "no"... and I'm thinking we'll get you an average, real-looking, non-actor-ish wife to pick you up in this story, and you can't be getting paid a fortune because you can only be making enough money to be in middle to upper-middle class so we can hit our biggest U.S. demographic, and your wife, well, she's driving a non-descript four door blue car, and those chicks you're picking up are your kids from preschool named Brittany and Tyler who look nothing like you or your wife, but heck, aren't they just the cutest?  Everybody needs to smile to camera now.  Let's collaberate on another job really soon.

from Bruce Van Dusen of Celsius Films in New York:
Directing has benefits. You can cut to the front of the lunch line. You get the chair closest to the monitor. Lots of people ask your opinion and seem to care. You can point at walls and have them moved. Or repainted. People change their clothes just because you ask them to.

On the flipside, directing has drawbacks. You don’t do it every day, so those benefts are periodic. And on those off days, you come to the realization that the only other thing you’re semi-qualified for is toll collection. Which with the advent of E-Z Pass is kind of dying field of employment.

from Gaysorn Thavat, Exile Films, New Zealand
If I wasn’t a director, I could transfer my skills to being a marriage counselor.  In making commercials I am often dealing with a demanding insecure client who has identity issues, and an anxious hen pecked agency, bound together in a marriage wrought with financial pressure and mistrust. The agency is always worried that the client will have an affair with another agency. And the client is always worried that the agency doesn’t understand or really listen to their needs

Unofficially, it is my job to negotiate between them and make a spot that rebuilds the trust, rekindles the spark of when they first met and make them both feel good about themselves. Oh yeah…. And make something that I like as well (but that’s beside the point really)

from Michael Williams, director at The Mob Film Company, London

You obviously didn't mention those two magic little words, 'client changes'.

Inside the producer's head. Tom Keramidas, VP/ Senior Producer,

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   EUROPE    October 10, 2005 23:36 (Edited: October 11, 2005 17:36)
This week, we've put a series of questions to a few TV producers around the globe trying to get inside their heads.
Amongst them ... Tom Keramidas, VP/ Senior Producer, Leo Burnett, Chicago.


bestads: How do you choose directors?
TK: I have a database with extensive notes on every director's reel I've screened. I input information about what they tend to shoot and how I feel about the work. When a new project comes up, my database gives me a good starting list of directors.

bestads: What’s the usual process? Is there a better way?
TK: I wish there was enough time for me to keep up with all the reels that keep coming in. I depend on sales reps to keep me updated. Most are a wonderful resource.

bestads: Is there enough time in the day to watch all of the incoming reels?
TK: No. But I've started watching them on long flights, especially when the movie sucks.

bestads: Some producers call themselves creative wranglers. A bit harsh?
TK: I prefer creative partners.

bestads: The producer is always the last to leave the looooong post sessions. True or false?
TK: True. I've been burned by assuming something will be handled too often.

bestads: Caffeine management. Any tips?
TK: grande 2 pump vanilla skim latte, twice a day. No more.

bestads: Who are the main culprits for blowing out the budgets?
TK: Cost controllers who need to get their pound of flesh out of an already tight bid. Budgets that are inadequate for the job right out of the gate.

bestads: The secret of slashing a sizeable chunk of money off the budget ...
TK: Music, animation and effects are often areas that have fewer "hard costs", and can be priced very aggressively if the supplier really wants the job.

bestads: Does agency producing set you up for a career in the diplomatic corps?
TK: Absolutely. Especially international productions.

Inside the producer's head. Terry Slade-Baker, FCB NZ ... soon!

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   AUSTRALIA    October 10, 2005 23:18 (Edited: October 11, 2005 17:18)
https://www.bestadsontv.com/news/upload/husky.jpg

This week, we've put a series of questions to a few TV producers around the globe trying to get inside their heads.
Amongst them ... Terry Slade-Baker, soon-to-be Head of TV, FCB New Zealand. BTW that's a picture of Terry's Husky.



bestads: How do you choose directors? What’s the usual process? Is there a better way?
TSB: Knowledge word of mouth a good network and the constant renewal of reels from old and new Directors,


bestads: Is there enough time in the day to watch all of the incoming reels?
TSB: No, but I guess you learn to skip through them quickly.

bestads: Some producers call themselves creative wranglers. A bit harsh?
TSB: Yes, a good producer needs to know and understand the creatives, they all focus on the idea, but with different priorities. It’s my job to know what their individual priorities are and accommodate them as much as possible.

bestads: The producer is always the last to leave the looooong post sessions. True or false?
TSB: Yes, a creative producer can be invaluable during the post process but he/she is still the person responsible for detail, and getting it right means seeing it through to the end. We do not always have the luxury of time or money to wait and “see it in the morning”

bestads: Caffeine management. Any tips?
TSB: What my Mother always said “everything in moderation”

bestads: Who are the main culprits for blowing out the budgets?
TSB: Budgets should not get blown, if overspend is required a good producer will always get approval for it from client or head of agency, and only for good reasons. If a job goes to plan the budget should to. I refer to point 3 above as understanding the idea and what the creatives want should allow a producer to budget properly.

bestads: The secret of slashing a sizeable chunk of money off the budget ...
TSB: The client has to lose something he wants.

bestads: Does agency producing set you up for a career in the diplomatic corps?
TSB: Highly likely.

Bob Giraldi, Director @ GIRALDI

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   EUROPE    October 10, 2005 22:19 (Edited: October 11, 2005 16:19)
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We've asked a few prominent directors a round of questions for our regular section "Inside Their Heads".

Inside the head of ...
Bob Giraldi, Director @ GIRALDI


From writing and directing classic music videos “Beat It,” “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hello,” and “Say, Say, Say,” to helming landmark advertising campaigns for Pepsi-Cola (featuring Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) and Miller Lite (featuring Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Martin, John Madden, and Bob Ueker), and the Broadway show spots for “A Chorus Line,” “Dream Girls,” “Evita,” and “Phantom of the Opera,” Bob Giraldi clearly has had a hand in shaping popular culture.


bestads: SO WHAT DREW YOU TO THE DARK SIDE...DIRECTING?
BG: It was so long ago, I’ve almost forgotten – as I remember, I was an art director in the early 70’s at Jerry Della Femina’s agency where the culture was far more relaxed, but cruder – we all created amongst the drugs, war protests, card-playing, and tardiness – I decided to direct.

bestads: DOING THE GIG...NO PROBLEM. GETTING THE GIG...HMMMM.
BG: Who says “doing the gig is no problem?” But you’re right, “getting the gig” is far more complex – phony phone calls, ghost-written treatments, executive producer hand-holding, insincere rep relationships – undeliverable promises – but, at the end of the day, the client is now the most underrated factor in who gets the gig.

bestads: THE ONLY THING BETWEEN YOU AND A GOLD LION IS...
BG: A very large ocean.

bestads: SHOOT DAYS: THE LIFE BLOOD? THE DRUG? OR ACCELERATED AGING?
BG: The shoot day is still the high. Sometimes I feel like Eli Manning getting ready to go to work and learn it all for the first time. Other times I come home feeling like Mike Tyson.

bestads: THE PACK SHOT – THE DEVIL INCARNATE?
BG: I would have an opinion if I ever stayed on set to shoot one.

bestads: WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL SECRET TO MANAGING ALL THE “PERSONALITIES” INVOLVED IN ANY ONE SHOOT?
BG: I can’t really say if I’m successful at it, but I know one attempt that didn’t work. Years ago, when asked the same question by a national newspaper about working with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney on the same set, I said; “there‘s only room for one star on my set – and that’s the director.” Needless to say what happened after that.

bestads: SHOOT WITH YOUR MOBILE/CELL PHONE, EDIT & POST FX ON YOUR LAP TOP, OUTPUT AS QUICKTIME, UPLOAD TO NET. BINGO. NOW IF WE JUST DISPENSE WITH THE CLIENT! WHERE’S IT ALL HEADING? AT THE END OF THE DAY...
BG: ...I’m high as a kite on the new technology and challenges – but to me, it‘ll always remain a business where if you do quality, you’ll do quantity...but will never work the other way around.

Inside the head of Director Theodore Melfi

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   EUROPE    October 04, 2005 23:23 (Edited: October 05, 2005 03:23)
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As part of our regular section "inside their heads", we put a few questions to Theodore Melfi – Director @ Area 51 Films (and take a look at his spec spot "the attempt" below)

1. So what drew you to the dark side ... directing?

My father always said, “If you want to be something then you better be good fucking at it. Cause life don’t treat failures kindly”. And since I was not a good plumber, I chose the next most logical career.

2. Doing the gig ... no problem. Getting the gig ... hmmm.

Shooting is icing – I shoot literally all the time – anything I can get my hands on that is not porn… whether it be a music video, short or feature… Getting the job is the job. It’s all about the treatment for me. Any monkey can show up with a camera and shoot a board – but can you conceptualize and strategize on paper… Like all creatives must do. Can you present? Can you create on paper? We all know the job is damn near over before one frame of film runs through the gate.

3. The only thing between you and a gold lion is ... (most scripts? The client? The process ...?)

Nothing. Send the boards… See you in France.

4. Shoot days: The lifeblood? The drug? Or accelerated aging?
Shoot days are like Prom night… So much preparation… So much effort… Then the drinking and the afterparty… then poof… It’s all over and you’ve got a few phone numbers, several best friends and a tough case of gonorrhea.

5. The Pack Shot ... The devil incarnate?

What’s a pack shot? Is that a porn term?

6. What’s your personal secret to managing all of the “personalities” involved in any one project?

Calm. Peace. Patience. Every leader needs to create an atmosphere of safety. We are going to get the job done. It is going to turn out famously. Every problem is its own solution. Every unforeseen circumstance brings us one step closer to discovering genius.

7. Shoot with your mobile/ cell phone, edit & post FX on your lap top, output as quicktime, upload to net. Bingo. Now if we just dispense with the client! Where’s it all heading? At the end of the day ...

At the end of the day nothing ever changes. Just like your mother. “Oh, this year I’m gonna loose 15 pounds”. Sure you are. And this year hi-def is going to replace film… Sure it is. And this year client direct will eliminate the agency… Sure it will.

Here’s my theory…

People like to say shit. And they say shit all the time. Some say shit because they truly believe shit will happen. But most say shit just to be saying shit. And since all shit rolls downhill… Well… That’s a lot of people getting full of shit.

Good thing we have comedy.


And some recent work from Theodore:
Spots Title: “The Attempt”

Click here to view the spot:
VIEW

 
Commentary from Craig Lederman, Brian Morgan, and Ted (the director).

It can be a common theme in this business: frustrated creative folks banding together to shoot something on the edge...

Writer Craig Lederman and Art Director Brian Morgan approached director Theodore Melfi with an idea about a young man trying to commit suicide... Utilizing the fumes of the new Toyota Hybrid Prius. "The Attempt" is an utter failure, thanks to the super low emissions of the environmental friendly Prius.

Melfi directed the spot through his production company Area 51 Films (Santa Monica). Executive Producers Phyllis Koenig and Preston Lee supported the project on the heels of another commercial - the old piggy back approach.

With the help of friends in the production world, the spot was edited (Frank Effron @ Cut and Run), transferred (PJ @ Company 3), mixed (Mark Meyuhas @ Lime) and then emailed to ten million people and... Here we are.

Inside their heads - Tim Hearn and Graham Cappi, TBWA/London

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   USA    October 04, 2005 08:04 (Edited: October 04, 2005 12:04)
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We've asked a few of last week's featured creatives a few questions ... to try to get inside their heads:

Tim Hearn and Graham Cappi, creatives at TBWA/London

Q: You've got a great idea. Who's the most difficult to slip it past?
A: The one who doesn't understand what a great idea is...

Q: It's all about the work. That's why partying is off the agenda.
A: Yes. Because otherwise, it's all about partying and work is off the agenda. And you're out of a job.

Q: 10% inspiration. What's the other 85%? (mathematics is certainly of the agenda)
A: 80% malt, hops, barley and pure spring water. 5% luck. (If you're only prepared to give 100%, forgo the luck.)

Q: Publicity. Who needs it?
A: Certainly not Tim Hearn and Graham Cappi, creatives at TBWA/London.

Q: If all copywriters are working on their novels, what are art directors working on?
A: Children's novels.

Inside the producer's head - Rod James, Head of TV, M&C Saatchi

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   AUSTRALIA    September 30, 2005 01:07 (Edited: September 30, 2005 19:07)
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This week, we've put a series of questions to a few TV producers around the globe trying to get inside their heads.
Amongst them ... Rod James, long time Head of TV, M&C Saatchi Sydney.





How do you choose directors? What’s the usual process?

RJ: The most important thing is picking a director and production company producer you can trust to deliver, and with that their track record (ie their reel) is obviously very important. Often I work with directors on a repeat basis, and I see this as no different to using the builder you trust. If they did a great job on your last house why wouldnt you consider them for a new campaign? That’s why Phil Meatchem was chosen to direct our fantastic new brand tvc for Optus. Having shot many great commercials for us I knew Phil would deliver on Optus and he did a superb job along with Animal Logic's wonderful post work. That said its also great to meet and work with the new breed of directors. In just the last year we've shot with Cherub's Sam Lang and Nash Edgerton, POD's David White, Revolver's Jess Bluck, Silverscreen's Michael Wong and Elevator's Bruce Allan. All of these were first timers for us and all did a really great job. I also believe the production house and their producers are very important. Companies I regard highly such as Film Graphics and Revolver are run by fantastic EP's Michael Cook and Michael Ritchie who have an agency background and understand what's needed without the bullshit.


Is there enough time in the day to watch all of the incoming reels?

RJ: The nature of a producers job and the usually crazy work load means that its physically impossible to watch a constant stack of reels every week. I'd love to sit and watch them all day but unfortunately the never ending hospital queue at my door has to come first. I know from speaking regularly to colleagues like Ali at Saatchi's and Brendan at Burnett's that they feel exactly the same given our hours. It may not happen overnight but I do see all the reels sooner or later and I find the experienced production house producers or ones who have worked both sides of the fence understand this. Ultimately if there's great talent out there they wont miss being noticed. Well designed websites are also a smart way to go now as they can be viewed anywhere instantly.


The producer is always the last to leave the looooong post sessions. True or false?

RJ:As I type this I'm sitting at Beamo’s late on a Thursday night recording a track for a pitch that has just been briefed and in between this I’ve got to edit a stealamatic, shoot and edit a casting, and get two other commercials complete, approved and out to air all by tomorrow afternoon. It’s just another normal week!

Caffeine management. Any tips?

RJ: For reasons that nobody ever gets I've never drunk coffee in my life so I wouldn’t know the difference between Bar Colluzo's finest and a jar of instant. The fact is I simply don't like the taste of it so I stick to my water bottle.


Who are the main culprits for blowing out the budgets?

RJ: More often that not these days it's clients suffering from way too many levels of approvals. It's frustrating when the client who's really the one to approve the work hasn't been to any of the meetings or comes in at the 11th hour.


Does agency producing set you up for a career in the diplomatic corps?

RJ: A good producer is a bit like a good footy coach and team psychologist rolled into one, so I guess it would.


What makes your work successful?

RJ: Using great suppliers and hiring great talent certainly helps. We are blessed with very talented production companies (and great freelance crews), post production companies, editors, musicians, casting directors and more in this market. It's all about relationships. The bottom line is that like every head of tv I can't possibly use every supplier so I have built relationships over time that I know I can trust. For example I've been working closely with Rick Schweikert at FSM for a long time and he and his excellent team have never failed to deliver for me. I'm also blessed with a great team of girls in my tv dept who I've hopefully taught how to be great producers whilst retaining a sense of humility and humour. I try to never lose sight of the fact that whilst we care like hell about the work we're just making ads at the end of the day.


What do you say to suits knocking on your door who suddenly need to have a commercial with an impossible budget on air by Sunday?

RJ: Tremendous


Is it true that Ben Welsh's first name is actually Francis?

RJ: Yep it's true and he loves it when the girls call him Franny.


What are you listening to at the moment?

RJ: Foo Fighters "In Your Honour" as loud as possible.


Inside the creatives' heads

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   AUSTRALIA    September 29, 2005 23:55 (Edited: September 30, 2005 03:55)
https://www.bestadsontv.com/news/upload/dave_mike.jpg

Inside the heads of Michael Jones & Dave Shirlaw, M&C Saatchi, Sydney.

Last week we saw their featured ad “innovations” for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, this week we pick their brains as part of our ongoing news category “inside their heads”.


bestads - You’ve got a great idea ... Who’s going to be the most difficult to slip it past?

M&D –
M : Dave.
D : Michael



bestads - 10% inspiration ... What’s the other 85%? (true creatives won’t pick that up)

M&D - inferior subcutaneous nerve neck tension.

bestads - Choosing a director. How do you go about it? (this is the holy grail for production companies)

M&D - Start as ‘Jess Bluck’ - and if she’s not available, wait until she is.

bestads - Publicity ... Who needs it!

M&D - Pub – yes, licity – no.

bestads - Managing your career. The work does it for you. True or false?

M&D -
D: True but creating the illusion of youth works, moisturise daily.
M: Hopefully, but never underestimate the networking potential of a good S&M club.


bestads - your soapbox of choice ....

M&D - Imperial leather. (particularly the gold writing.)

bestads - If all writers are working on their novel, what are the art directors working on?

M&D – Being novel.





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