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How do you become a TV commercial director?


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#1 Ethan Lyu

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:28 PM

Hi all,

How can I become a TV commercial director?
I noticed in US there is no apprentice system and you start out as a diretor right out.
So how does one become a director from the start?

I notice most of them come from photography background, DPs.

I went to community film school in LA but
I don't have that and it will take long time for me though I want
to improve my photography skills. But I know how to put down
ideas on storyboards.

Just start shooting my own commercial as a real? instead of short film?

Also is it still advantagous to be in NY, LA? Still lots of commercial jobs are there, it seems.

anyone got advice, greatly appreciated.
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#2 Ram Shani

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:01 AM

you need a real

shoot spec commercials music videos

maybe short film (1-2 min)

get networking
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#3 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 02:18 PM

Here's a great topic on the subject:

http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/in...;hl=Commercials


Also if you use the SEARCH function and type in SPEC COMMERCIAL, about half way down the page you'll find a topic started by David Sloan. In that thread there's a post by Eric Steelberg that gives some really good advice.

Another option that seems to have good results for many aspiring commercial directors is applying to Group 101 Spots.
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 06:46 PM

It's a very tough road to go down. I just finished four national spots, and it was a tough haul.

It's imprtant to keep in mind that the ad agencies run this game, they hire and fire the production crew. The "client" can request a favorite director or DOP, but usually the agency controls every thing.

The ad agencies usually contract the production work to a commercials production house that they have a relationship with. One word that will come up over and over is: Relationship.

If you don't got it, it doesn't matter how talented you are you will go no where.

There's no one way up the mountain for directors. In my case I showed the ad agency my reel, & they hired me to direct and DP the spots. My reel is a mish mash of a variety of stuff I've done over the years.

One thing for sure if you want to do short format, stick with short format now, and have only a reel of short format work. It's no good making feature length indie movies for 10 years, and then deciding you want to make commercials and you only have long format work to show.

Don't expect ad agencies to make the leap from you doing features, to you doing commercials. If you want to make commercials, write, shoot, and edit commercials.

It gets even more detailed though...if you want to do McDonald's spots then they want to see your "food work." Want to make GM spots, they want to see your "car" work. Directors become known as the "car guy" "food guy" "soap guy." Especially at the higher levels. For DOPs shooting food is a unique craft all on it's own taking years to learn.

The money can be insane at the top levels, but most of the big guys become yesterday's guy in a short period of time. The agencies are always looking for the "hot" new guy.

It's like any thing in this business, very tough, but nice once you arrive.

R,
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Aerial Filmworks

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Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

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