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Connect with commercial agencies


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#1 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 05:56 PM

Good evening.

How should we as a production company approach getting collaborations with agencies?

Is it all reel-based? Luck on meeting the right person? Wait till one of our commercials grabs some attention?

Any input here is really appreciated.

Happy new year!
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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 06:28 PM

Luck on meeting the right person could pretty much be applied as a 100% easy avenue in all professions. Connections outweigh talent when it comes to climbing the ladder.


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#3 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 06:50 PM

Luck on meeting the right person could pretty much be applied as a 100% easy avenue in all professions. Connections outweigh talent when it comes to climbing the ladder.


I know, but thats usually comes down to coincidences. And we cant base our careers on that.
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#4 Albion Hockney

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:06 PM

like everything luck/connections of course - but you have to do the work and put yourself in the right place to allow those "lucky" things to happen.

 

It really depends what level you're on and how strong your work is ...and also how long you have been around. Making relationships with agencies takes a lot of time. Often production companies first step to jump to the next tier is to find a rep (sales rep) who are basically agents for production companies. They have strong agency relationships and if they like your work they will put you and your directors up for bids. That said you need work strong enough to go up for that kind of work and have done atleast some small/mid sized work with agencies already. 

 

agencies are also constantly taking mtgs with production companies. You cater a lunch and come in and show them reels of all your directors. You can even contact agencies cold to set this up and they will probably say yes and invite you in. Give them a good lunch and hope your work takes notice. It really helps to make relationships with these people though and you should go to all the parties and things like that you can. Make friends with Jr producers or young people at the agencies. 

 

I work as a DP this is all based on knowing friends with small production companies. 

 

The agency world is full of politics and BS so be prepared to put a smile on and play nice - that's what I like to stay on the production side. 


Edited by Albion Hockney, 30 December 2016 - 09:06 PM.

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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:08 PM

Are you cold calling?  I've made a lot of connections with cold calls and cold emails. Never expect the ship to come to you, swim out to it.

 

Invite the staff from everyone of the top agencies in town to a 5 star party hosted by your firm.  Spare no expense.  Then wow them with a video presentation of what your company can do.

 

Cold call the same companies, 30, 40, 50 times, never stop.

 

R,


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:19 AM

I should point out that Richard's advice may possibly have worked for him, but as far as I know it's never worked for anyone else. It'll just wind everyone up.

 

Of my four or five biggest current clients, every single one of them was either a chance acquaintance or an email out of the blue. You can hammer at various doors for years and get nowhere until blind, unthinking luck happens by, and I think it's important to have the honesty to admit that.

 

This reality is often unpalatable to people who like to think of themselves as top-letter, red-shelf players whose thinking is so cutting-sky and blue-edge that it'll wow everyone else into submission. Usually, the sad fact is: they aren't and it isn't. Even the most successful people in the world are usually willing to admit that a certain amount of good fortune is involved.

 

P


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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:24 PM

 Even the most successful people in the world are usually willing to admit that a certain amount of good fortune is involved.

 

P

 

 

There's always that element for sure.  Luck is when talent and skill meet opportunity.  You can be given the best introduction in the world, but it won't do you any good if you don't have the training or skill to capitalize on it.

 

R,


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#8 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:25 PM

Most production companies in the US have east and west coast and sometimes central reps that put them in front of ad agencies.   A commercial rep is the person you're going to try to contact.  Not the actual ad agency.

 

For example, http://ringer.tv/  Go to their contact page and you'll see an example of what I'm talking about.

 

If you want to produce spots, get a .tv extension for your site, have a similar layout and get some reps behind you.   You'll find that one example is pretty much the standard.   At least in the US.

 

Now, if you want to know how you can interest a commercial rep, that's where the above advice of personal connections, very strong portfolio and yes Richards advice of just taking the plunge and sending out an email and if you get a reply, follow up.   But I wouldn't actually harrass anyone.


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#9 Albion Hockney

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:56 PM

You're not going to get a rep without strong work and great connections OR name directors. Build work, find more directors, meet everyone you can. If your work is good and you're a nice guy to work with it'll happen - but give it time. 

 

if you want to just direct I would start making your own work and try to find a production company to rep you - or keep your company for awhile to do smaller work to pay the bills and when you have strong enough work then make the jump to a production company as a director - getting agency work through production companies is a play for someone who wants to be a business person/producer and wants to own a production company - it is a long term play. 


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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 01:01 PM

  But I wouldn't actually harrass anyone.

 

 

Well Stephen Whitehead, DOP, works more days a year than anyone on this forum.  His secret….non stop calling of people on his client or potential client list. And I mean…..non stop.  It's rare if I don't hear from him once every two days.

 

So many people on this forum complain about one universal thing, not getting enough work.  Meanwhile Stephen works non-stop.  I just talked to him 10 minutes ago, he was packing for a feature shoot in Romania, leaves tomorrow.  Then a full slate of projects lined up after that.

 

This is a part of the business many DOPs never develop, or shy away from. They prefer to sit at home and wait for the phone to ring.  When you're a freelancer you don't have that luxury, and all DOPs are freelancers.

 

In my case I've never been hired to direct anything, I've had to produce the film and then hire myself as director.  It's a tough road, but it my case, I don't have any other option.

 

R,


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#11 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 05:43 PM

Thank you for the great input guys!

The situation for us now, is that we are 3 guys working together on projects. We have been at it for one year now, and I realize that is nothing in the larger scheme of things.

Our work is improving, and will continue to do so as we keep on shooting.

My goal is to work as one of the directors in our company, but since I am the founder, I feel more like an entrepreneur now, going from meeting to meeting setting up projects. Which is totally fine! We will hire a salesguy to do that later.

At the moment, we are shooting mostly low-budget work for stores and small businesses. All in Norway, where we are from. We see that most productions companies here have a revenue of $500-700k. So reaching that income level would be the first goal. Maybe we should reach out to businesses outside our country?
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