www.whyville.net Nov 22, 2009 Weekly Issue

City Worker Writer

The Making of a Commercial: Part 2

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Hi Whyvillians! I'm back with the next part in the series, "The Making of a Commercial". Last week I introduced you to the main people who work together to make a commercial come together. We learned that the first step in making a commercial is writing the script. The creative team works together to come up with the concept and script using the brief from the client. Now that we have an approved script, it is time to move on to the next part of the process . . . pre-production!

The producer is given the final approved script to start getting production underway. The first step the producer will do is work with the creative team to find a director. Most directors are represented by one production company. The director teams up with the company to make a package deal. The producer will work with reps (people who represent the production companies and try to find them work) to gather director reels. A reel shows a director's best work and helps the producer figure out what kind of director he/she is. For example, a director might do humor, or visual commercials. They might work great with actors and have wonderful performances, or they may be more effects savvy. The goal of this process is to find the best directors that will work for your particular script.

After the producer has created a list, he/she will send the reels to the creative team. They will look at all of them and pick their top 3 as recommendations to the client. Before the recommendations are sent to the client, the directors will do a treatment. The treatment is the director's opportunity to show how he/she will interpret the script, and what he/she will bring to the table. Once all of the treatments are in, the producer will send the reels of the recommended directors and treatments to the client for their approval.

Once the client has had a chance to review the directors, the team will decide who is their top pick. From here, the process can vary, depending on the client and the job. Most clients require you to triple bid. This means, you'll ask all three directors/production companies to put together a bid for the job. The bid outlines the costs that the production company will charge to make the commercial. Most of the time, you want your number 1 choice to have the lowest bid, so it will cost the client the least amount of money. If your client does not require a triple bid, then you'll have your number 1 choice put together a bid and work with them no matter how much it costs.

Now that you have a director, you need to find an editor. The producer will go through the same process as the director search to find the right editor. Each editor has his/her own style, and you'll want to find the right one for the job. You'll send reels to the creative team and they will make a recommendation to the client. The only difference is an editor does not have to do a treatment.

Now we're well under way on pre-production! Next week I'll talk about talent, music, and estimating. I hope you're enjoying this series. Things can get pretty complicated very fast, so please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!


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