Live action TV commercials
* Cinema style branding spots.
These often have as a no expense spared big budget feel and may include well known actors. The ultimate communication of the brand is the goal. These can include all the tricks of the biggest budget Hollywood style movies and are made with the similar standard crew and technicians.
TV drama style
Smaller scale productions using local actors (but not necessarily well known), where the focus is on performance – rather than special effects or location shooting. Characters are often archetypes or ‘every man’ or ‘every woman’. Characters interact with dialogue. The product is depicted as solving a problem or as a natural part of an aspirational world.
Presenter based TV spot
A presenter turns to the screen and just talks the audience through a sales pitch focused on features and benefits of their product choice. The presenter could be well known, barely known or a kind of character suitable to the brand. I can be very formal like a news reporter or as a natural as a documentary presenter.
Voice over and scene
A professional voice over actor sets the scene with a narration over a scene or shots acted out to tell a story which the audience draws a natural conclusion from. The conclusion is ‘I identify with that situation and could do with that product.’ This is a common format for direct response advertisements.
Real people speak ‘in their own words’, about their positive experience with a product or service. These can be shot in a public place ‘vox pop’ style, set up in an aspirational location or shot in the actual homes or places of work of the advocates. These kinds can be highly tactical advertisements as conversation starters about a new product as they can contribute to a sense of making a something real the public. Testimonial people can say things as part of their own personal opinion contributing to a sense of momentum to try the product. Good interview technique means subjects can be described succinctly to fit the format. Testimonial content can often be co-opted for web videos too.
Animated TV commercials
Fully animated TV commercials can be as complicated as the imagination can muster – or as simple as an old Saturday morning cartoon. Whilst new technology has provided amazing breakthroughs the best way to consider the process is to still think of every frame as still being basically hand drawn (but inside a computer). It then needs to be rendered into sequence and mixed with sound and music. Typically animated spots may include one or many voice over actors or performers. Animated elements can also be melded with live action and involve 3D modeling.
Motion Graphics Comercials
Using graphic animation techniques – brand elements and images can be brought to life to attract the eye of the audience to sell. Vectors can be moved and shifted, fonts can slide and assemble – while graphic design shapes and photographic still images can be moved visually to create an interesting and engaging message. Stills can be enhanced with deep etching and replacing backgrounds. Graphics based commercials are often the best step forward for clients wanting to carry their brand image onto television or creates some video content for their website but not being in a position to commission a full production shoot. Often clients are able to provide terrific sales imagery from print or digital campaigns. These graphics and can be brought to life in motion and set to music with a professional voice over.
TV ads can often contain elements of different styles. Normally the style is dictated by the budget. Recreating movie style production values tend to be at the upper end of the spectrum, presenter based spots with a bit of demonstration in the middle with a voiced over or graphics and still image based spots at the other end of the spectrum.
Online films and digital media
Online films are a great way to get people to visit websites but are also an incredible way to increase closure rates. When they are done right they are a true chance to pitch a company or service in an interesting and great looking way. Terrific online films push a company’s unique sales proposition, build trust and deliver hot leads directly to contact pages. Many businesses report triple the closure rate after embedding an effective online sales film. Increased depth of engagement assists with organic search engine optimization rankings. This also assists with the rates charged on cost per click campaigns – as the search engines identify sites with relevant video are providing content people want and thus charge less. It can be a company’s best sales pitch ready to view 24/7
Corporate films and Company profile films
Corporate films or corporate documentaries are a business way to tell their story – either to their staff or the public. Their styles range from news story through to presenter based or dramatized. Their value can be far in excess of their budgets as they can be used to persuade and lobby at the highest level. Corporate films fall into the categories of in house and client facing. Strictly in-house films can include educational subjects and training videos – involving actors and acted out scenarios. Client facing films can be used to assail client concerns or directly address blocks to sales and transform client perceptions. Sometimes this task requires a full range of graphic and special effects styles
Directors are trained to be a nexus point for creative contributors, technicians and artists. A director works with a producer to draw a team together and communicates to receive the fruits of their skills in service of the story. The role originated to work with actors but today increasingly the elements of production involve multiple artists all struggling for recourses, time and to influence the narrative. (Sound, music, special effects, lighting, production design etc.)
Directors set the style parameters and work with their departments to make final decisions in relation to the creative of subjective decision aspects of production. When working with advertising agencies they make studied choices to fit with the goals of the project. They keep track of performance and dictate shots and coverage in order to tell as story within 30 seconds. The are sometimes highly skilled in one or more area of production like script writing or performance and are often keen analysts of the form with a wealth of filmmaking experience and knowledge.
Directing services – First A.D
First assistant directors work for the production company to run the set in order facilitate the director’s vision on time and on budget – even if the director is a first timer or has no idea what is going on. They are masters of planning, of time management and ordering production processes. They should have an eye on safety, on the clock and the weather. The best keep track of and work closely with all departments to capture all their work. Everything also has to be timed so make-up, hair, lights, lenses, sound, sets and props are all ready at the same time. The best in their field time the workflow of the shoot day in unison with the catering department and finish in time to pack up or pre set for the following shoot day. They are often the only voice you can hear on set until the director calls action.
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