Our goal is to make you comfortable working with us, even if you’ve never experienced a professional TV commercial production.
To help meet those goals, we like to provide you with an general overview of our television commercial project process.
TV Commercial Project Process
Project Information Gathering
This is the first step in the process of creating your commercial.
A meeting is scheduled to discuss your project in detail. The purpose of this meeting is to determine your specific advertising needs, develop a strategic work plan outlining the key benefits of your product and/or service, communication goals, target audience, and perceptual challenges.
Information about your target market is also gathered to help define and differentiate your business/product from your competition.
Based on our consultation with you, the process of creating unique ideas is started. These may be based on ideas you provided during our initial meeting as well as new ideas developed by the creative team from scratch.
Samples of TV commercials we’ve created.
Note: If you already have an approved concept and script in place, we can move directly to the Pre-Production process.
Over the years we’ve learned that the execution of an idea into a full storyboard actually hinders the creative process because too much focus is placed on executional details instead of the core idea. To avoid this, creative ideas are presented as draft creative summaries – outlining the overall idea and key action points, dialogue, and/or voice-over.
Scriptwriting / Storyboards
With a concept approved, the process of fleshing out the details of the script and storyboard begins. Scripts are developed into storyboard format including key frames, video descriptions, and audio details (dialogue, voice-over, script). and provided as a digital .PDF for review. Unless otherwise specified, a :30 storyboard includes up to 10 Black and White illustrations.
The pre-pre-production meeting is very important to this process. This is where, upon approval of your TV commercial script, a production company and Director are selected.
Creative and production teams then meet to discuss script details, shot list, locations, talent, and alternatives for optimizing production costs.
Note: If your commercial doesn’t require a camera shoot – either because you’re providing existing, broadcast quality footage or your commercial will be created entirely on the computer — the process will move directly to Production.
Shot List and Production Estimate Approval
A production script is presented to you along with a shot list and detailed production estimate for your approval.
Upon approval, a date and time is scheduled to shoot your commercial. Post-production (editing) time is also scheduled.
Creative and production teams meet to finalize shot list, locations, and production schedule.
Casting (on-screen, voice, and extras)
If casting is required, the process of voice talent research and actor selection for each role is conducted. Primary and backup selections are made after the casting session. Casting sessions are usually videotaped for future reference.
Once casting and pre-production are completed, location and studio shooting begins.
Only the most skillful and experienced professionals are employed. Shooting is truly a group effort, where the producer, director, crew members, actors and clients collaborate to transform words on paper into images on videotape or film.
Part of the production process also includes recording voice talent and creating any required graphics.
Voice Talent (Recording)
If your project requires voice talent, selected individuals will either be brought into the studio for recording or they may record their session off-site and then send us digital audio files. The cost of voice talent varies based on the usage of your commercial; local, regional, national, or international. Since standard union rates can easily exceed the budget for low dollar productions, experienced in-house talent can be used.
Almost every TV commercial requires graphics of some sort. Whether it’s digitizing and resizing existing graphics such as a logo, adding textures and backgrounds, or creating custom graphics or animations for products and calls-to-action. This step is often underestimated in terms of the time it takes to do and the importance of it in the final product.
Graphics can have a huge impact on the final commercial — specially in matching a brand look and giving it a visual identity that sets your commercial apart from your competition.
After shooting is completed, a initial “rough cut” is created for your review, complete with selected music, scratch track narration, sound effects, and graphics.
Almost every TV commercial needs some amount of music. Music is a fundamental element that provides an emotional identity and impact to your production. The choice of a particular music track is very important to most TV commercials. Note: Based on your budget, music tracks and effects may be an original creation/score or “needle-drop” (pre-recorded music selected from a library).
Based on your feedback and creative input, a final edit is created using color corrected, live-action, animation, finalized titles, special effects, and dissolves.
Once the final edit has been approved the commercial is mastered into a variety of formats, either videotape or digital files, depending on the intended destination. In today’s digital environment, most “duplication” isn’t required. Digital files are created based on specifications for each end-user (where and who will be airing your commercial).
Selection and purchase of media time (when, where, and how often your TV commercial will run) should have already been completed. You commercial is them delivered to the TV stations, etc. for air play.
Note: Depending on the final approved script, the process can be much shorter.
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