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

 INSIDE THEIR HEADS   AUSTRALIA    September 30, 2005 01:07 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

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: February 17, 2023 04:19)

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.

Guest Comments for September's featured spots for the Manhattan

 GUEST COMMENTS   USA    September 29, 2005 07:16 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)
This week's guest comments are from Jason Levine (Art Director/Writer), Publicis, New York, one of the creatives on this week's featured spots for the Manhattan Short Film Festival.

The Manhattan Short Film Festival was started by an eccentric Australian friend of ours called Nick Mason. The first screening took place on the side of a truck in Mulberry Street, Little Italy, on Sept 27 1998. In its first year the festival received 316 entries from 16 countries, with the winner coming from the former Yugoslavia.

The following year, the festival relocated to Union Square Park, in the heart of downtown Manhattan, and was judged by Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Eric Stolz, Laura Linney and Roger Corman. Last year the festival received a record 621 entries from 32 countries, and handed the judging to the cinema going public in 7 states. The winner, an Indian film called Little Terrorist, went on to be nominated for an Oscar.

In 2005, the festival will be judged by the public in 30 states in 48 cities, culminating in 160 screenings during one week, 16th – 24th September. The winner will be announced in Union Square Park, Sunday 25th and will receive backing to create a feature film that will be distributed to the same cinemas.

So that’s what the festival is about, now about the ad campaign.

My partner, Eric Quennoy, and I were having a late night conversation with the founder of the MSFF, Nick Mason, when he asked us if we would be interested in helping him market the festival for him. We obviously saw a great opportunity to do award winning ads for a film literate client and good friend, and jumped on it.

After a few weeks of struggle we came up with an idea of creating films that were inherently short, with story lines that had absolutely nowhere to go. The first one we thought of was “Memoirs of a Kamikaze Pilot”. Soon, we had written a dozen of them: Searching For Starbucks, Exit Strategy for Iraq, The Calf That Would Be Veal, The Dog That Wandered Into The Vietnamese Restaurant, Jimmy’s First Time, The Softer Side of Idi Amin, Grandma’s Surprise Party, The Man Who Thought He Could Fly, etc.

As far as execution goes, the idea was to make every one of these ads look and feel like a short film, and therefore to incorporate as many of its genres – animation, film noir, documentary, etc. And just like the films in a short film festival, we wanted all these ads to look and feel radically different from one another. The starting point was to actually use a different director for each spot, and for them to bring their unique style to the board. Some directors decided to shoot on 35mm, some with an old Bolex H16 camera, some went digital, and some of the spots are animated. Also, the ads were shot in locations as diverse as London, L.A, New York, Montevideo and Sao Paulo.

It’s also worth noting that when we sent these scripts to directors, we were worried about them all gravitating to the same two or three boards. To our relief, however, the directors seemed to find something different in each script that appealed to them as filmmakers.
As we begin to see some of the finished ads, it is amazing to see how different the spots look and feel from each other, which is exactly what we had hoped for.

The truly refreshing aspect of this project has been the passion and generosity shown by so many people. A short film, as everybody knows, is about the struggling filmmaker pulling favors at every turn with the vain hope of one day achieving a slither of notoriety. This clearly seemed to appeal to the countless directors, producers, editors, cameramen, sound mixers, etc, who happily gave their time to work on the project.


 FROM BESTADSONTV   USA    September 29, 2005 07:07 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Read and post the latest creative news right here: Creative viewpoints, new work, awards, events ... or just gossip.

Got a point of view? Done some good work? Post your news directly onto the site. (Or email it to

No anonymous postings or comments though. There'll be a bit of a delay so that posts & comments can be checked by the good people at bestads.

A PSA for Air Mercy Services - Suburban Films

 TV   UK    September 28, 2005 07:08 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

A helicopter without blades is about as useful as AA cup implants, a Dachshund pointer or a three-legged Lipizzaner. Suburban Films with acclaimed director Jeremy Goodall took on the challenge of highlighting the operations of a non-profit organisation in his new public service announcement. Jeremy has managed to create an analogy of a helicopter without blades as being similar to a service without dedicated donor support.

Agency 8 Seconds and the Suburban Films team descended on the AMS hangar at Cape Town International Airport on a cold, stormy morning. Mercurial director, Jeremy Goodall, bagged the shots despite howling wind that would halt even the steeliest of Janjaweed militiamen, with a plucky crew who contributed their time for the AMS debut. Then onto Frogs Croak Constantia, where the pool scene was shot. Local frogman Michael Snyman did the honours with the underwater shots. The result, crisp, haunting shots that create a sense of unease.

Everyone on the shoot and in post-production really pulled out the stops to assist in helping the AMS craft a sublime, thought provoking commercial. It is perfectly timed to get the SA Red Cross AMS' 40th Anniversary Appeal “off the ground” in 2006 , and to encourage South Africans to make a "birthday gift" to help with expansion of the organisation's facilities and purchase lifesaving medical equipment for its bases.

Enquiries or donations: visit or contact Susann at (021) 934-0916 or by e-mail at

DLKW's new work for Branston Pickle. Nice too!

 TV   CANADA    September 28, 2005 06:53 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)
Branston Pickle -  Single handed

The things you can do once you've freed up that other hand!

Project name: Squeezy
Client: Premier
Creative agency: DLKW
Copywriter:  Richard Holmes
Art director: Remco Graham
Planner: Lisa Conway
Director: Guy Manwaring
Producer: Dickie Jeffares
Production company: Therapy Films
Editor and editing company: Mark Edinoff at Peepshow        
Post-production company: Rushes
Audio post-production: Wave
Music Composed by: Mcasso Music

BCM Partnership keeping busy

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 28, 2005 06:34 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

The BCM Partnership, Brisbane, have been busy finish off commercials for Qld transport and the Original Juice company (where some unusual facts about hippos help sell juice).

Client: Original Juice Company
Agency: BCM Partnership
Creative Director: Greville Patterson
Writer: Nancy Hartley
Art Director: James Burchill
Agency Producer: Shane Ford
Production Company: Post Lounge
Director: Ryan Renshaw (Black Lab)
Post Production: Post Lounge
Post Producer: Vicki Lee
Off-Line Editor: Paul Travers
Compositor: Steve Tedman
3D Animator: Duncan MacDonald
Art Director: Zenon Kohler

W+K Amsterdam - more solid EA work

 TV   CANADA    September 28, 2005 05:27 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)
Electronic Arts - New Work

30” TV spot: Winner Stays On:
We glimpse the personal battle between Rooney and Ronaldinho during a MASSIVE, non-stop Winner Stays On football tournament. Manchester United has beaten Brasil 5-1. Ronaldinho storms off, disgruntled in his yellow jersey. He takes us into a surreal world, where thousands of top teams are packed together, impatiently jostling for their turn on the field. Ronaldinho is saved an eternal wait for another game by his Barcelona team mates – he runs straight back out for another crack at Rooney.
FIFA '06 TV spot synopsis:
20” Teaser: Referee
An irate warden brutally plucks a referee from the ‘ref storage room’ deep in the bowels of a stadium. The warden drags the ref through hundreds of the world’s best teams as he reads out the match fixtures for a never-ending tournament. The ref is over-whelmed at first but slowly rises to the challenge by bravely snatching a ball off nearby Rooney’s head and kissing his red card as he tears out into the night.

Ad agency: Wieden+Kennedy/Amsterdam
Campaign: FIFA '06 Winner Stays On (30" advert); FIFA '06 Referee (20" teaser TV spot)
Client: Electronic Arts (Clive Downie, Trevor Uzice, Ian McGregor, Dave Sullivan)
Art director: Rachid Ahouyek
Copywriter: Jon Burden
Creative Dir.: Don Shelford; Joe DeSouza
Producer: Trudy Waldron
Prod. Ass.: Lucy Newman
Account exec: Hazelle Griffin; Nick Howe
Prod. com.: Stink
Producer: Mungo Maclagan
Director: James Brown


Art director: Rachid Ahouyek
Copywriter: Jon Burden
Creative Dir.: Don Shelford; Joe DeSouza
Account mgt: Julia Porter; Nick Howe
Media: Alex Barwick


CANADA    September 28, 2005 03:18 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)


on 9th December in The Ballroom at The Grosvenor House Hotel

Tickets are now on sale for the Creative Industry’s most sought after fundraiser event of the year, The Creative Ball. This year promises to be the most exciting yet with an influx of daring acts spicing up the entertainment.

Movers and shakers in the industry are advised to move fast, as tickets for tables of 12 have sold out within days of going on sale. (Only tables of 10 remain for those revellers and charitable hearts who have not moved fast enough.)

Established in 1984, the creative ball raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Save the Children and has been supported by Trevor Beattie, John Hegarty, Jim thornton and Nik Studinski. This year, the Chairman of the event is yet another hugely respected name in the advertising industry, Craig Davis, JWT’s Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide.

For more details please log onto or call Jane/Lorraine on 0207 631 1648.

For press enquiries please contact Bella or Fiona at CK Publicity 020 7580 5058 or email

Publicis Mojo Sydney have been busy!

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 28, 2005 02:23 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Two very amusing spots in quite a difficult category from Publicis Mojo Sydney.

Telfast - Photocopier
Client: Sanofi Aventis
Agency : Publicis Mojo, Sydney
Creative Director: Michael Stanford
Agency Producer : Jasmin Ferguson
Creative Team: Michael Stanford - Writer & Georgia Arnott - Art
Production Company: ACNE - Sweden
Director: Rasmus Laumann
Producer : Richard Bjorlin

Metamucil - Big Sandwich
Client: Proctor & Gamble
Agency : Publicis Mojo, Sydney
Creative Director: Darren Spiller
Agency Producer : Jasmin Ferguson
Creative Team: Justin Ruben - Writer & Georgia Arnott - Art Director
Production Company: Exit Films
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Producer : Jane Liscombe

New work for The Wilderness Society - DDB Sydney

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 28, 2005 02:01 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

... and very stylish at that

Product : The Wilderness Society
Title : Chainsaw
Agency : DDB Sydney
Creatives : Ant&Alex
Creative Director : Garry Horner
Director : Tony Mahony
Prod. Co. : Zealot Films
Country : Australia

Children First - via Leith, Edinburgh

 TV   CANADA    September 28, 2005 01:41 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Some very nice animation to get across a serious message.

Studio AKA's Marc Craste's unusual style lends great sensitivity to this dramatic story line where a rabbit, encouraging abused children to escape their problems and work towards a brighter future with the Scottish organisation, Children 1st (formally the Scottish RSPCC).

The 30 second television commercial was animated in 3D using Softimage | XSI.

Client: Children 1st
Agency: Leith, Edinburgh
Agency Producer:
Director: Marc Craste
Production Company: Studio AKA

They're a funny people ... the Kiwis

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 27, 2005 05:52 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)
The roly poly cup?

See NZ's steepest rugby game yet!

Featuring an all-star team of ex-All Blacks including
Joe Stanley, Walter Little, Craig Innes, Bernie McCahill,
Steve McDowell and Andy Haden.

Come along and watch them tumble.

Creative Director Jeneal Rohrback
Art Director Jeneal Rohrback
CopyWriter Steve Girdlestone
Account Director Patrick Hancock
TV Producer Zoe Yendell
Director Jeneal Rohrback & Steve Girdlestone
Editor Duncan Munro

SELECT YOUR REGION - don't waste time looking through all news.

 FROM BESTADSONTV   USA    September 27, 2005 04:50 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Select your region so that you find the news that's relevant to you.

... over there on the left ... see? .... "Regions"

The Edge. New from Colenso BBDO NZ

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 27, 2005 02:58 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

In a new spot for The Edge Radio Station, a fast talking escape artist tries to talk his way out of a tricky situation.

DIRECTOR: Adam Stevens
PRODUCER: Mark Foster
D.O.P: Ben Freedman

New Honda work through RPA

 TV   EUROPE    September 27, 2005 02:30 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Rubin Postaer and Associates have just completed an impressive and diverse series of new spots for Honda. We'll just mention a couple of favourites here.

“Tail Pipe” / Civic Si

Agency Producer: Gary Paticoff
Copywriter: Camille Sze
Art Director: Nathan Crow
Creative Director(s): David Smith / Joe Baratelli
Director: Shynola
Production Company: The Director’s Bureau
Editor: Shynola
Music: “Galang” by MIA

“Unbearable Toll” / Ridgeline

Agency Producer: Brian Donnelly
Copywriter: Adam Lowrey
Art Director: Chuck Blackwell (VP, Associate Creative Director)
Creative Directors: David Smith (Sr. V.P., Creative Director) and Joe Baratelli (Sr. V.P., Creative Director)
Director: Michael Downing
Production Co: Harvest Films
Editor: Mark Goodman / Terminal Editorial
Music: Stimmung / Jason Johnson

(the now corporation) expands adds two

 POST PRODUCTION   EUROPE    September 27, 2005 02:16 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

(NYC) Travis Kopach has joined (the now corporation) as Editor. Kopach, just completed his first gig at (the now corporation) A :30 Verizon Wireless spot for McCann Erickson via directing team Guard Brothers of Villians.

Kopach, who also directs, recently directed two music video clips airing on MTV Europe and the US. "Isabelle" by Koufax - for Doghouse Records was just completed last week.
The clips were co-produced by (the now corporation) and Prod. co., Fashion Bleeds.

Jeannette Prostowich joins (the now corporation) as Editor. She previously worked as cutting assistant for Nelson Leonard and Owen Plotkin of (the now corporation). Jeannette recently cut two spots for MTV2 and four for MTV with Reginald Pike director Lena Beug. She recently cut a :30 Tylenol spot for Deutsch directed by Barbara Kopple of Nonfiction Spots.

the vodafone nude volleyball spot just got nuder

AUSTRALIA    September 27, 2005 02:01 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

There's now a nude version of the vodafone volleyball ad (that previously featured on bestads with censored black squares). But you'll have to harass these guys if you want to see it:

Title: National Nude Day
Agency: Lowe (Auckland)
Creative: Daniel Crayford, Paul McGreevy
Pro. Co: Yuk Foo
Country: New Zealand

New work for Glassons / Publicis Mojo NZ

 TV   AUSTRALIA    September 27, 2005 01:47 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)

Just in from Publicis Mojo NZ.

Production Company: Curious
Director: Chris Mauger
Producer: Tara Riddell
Creative Team: Mikhail Gherman, Leighton Dyer, Nigel Clark
Agency Producer: Anna Randall
Client: Glassons

ART DIRECTORS CLUB NY - call for entries

 AWARD NEWS   EUROPE    September 26, 2005 22:38 (Edited: February 17, 2023 04:19)
Greetings from ADC,

If you'd like to receive the ADC 85th Call for Entries by snail mail, we'll need your mailing address. Please go to and fill out the required fields.

If you wish only to receive emails from us, there's no need to take any further steps.

If you already have an ADC account, please log in at here to make sure we have your most updated information.

Got questions? Contact us at

Warm regards,
Your friends at the ADC

The Rakes '22 Grand Job' (from Type2error @ Godman)

 TV   CANADA    September 26, 2005 22:02 (Edited: February 19, 2023 16:42)
The Rakes "22 Grand Job" ... Office Life a la Tyep2error

Prolific directing duo, Type2error, forgo political correctness to create an ironically poptastic video for The Rakes latest single, ‚22 Grand Job‚. Using shamelessly sexist stereotypes of secretaries, Type2error illustrate office life, Rakes-style. The video is set to receive 70+ plays per week on MTV2. 111

Artist: The Rakes
Title: 22 Grand Job
Airdate: w/c 26th Sept 2005
Production Company: Godman
Directors: Type2error [Matt Simmonds & Ed Emmerson]
Producer: Lara Schachat
DoP: Luke Scott
Editor: Steve Ackroyd
Record Label: V2


 TV   EUROPE    September 26, 2005 21:39 (Edited: September 27, 2005 07:39)

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