If you want to be a commercial director, you have to impress agency folks… they are the gatekeepers of the best commercials.
If you can impress them, you’re in.
I’ll be honest, I’m still relatively new to the commercial director game. I’ve had some luck, and some MAJOR flops over the past two years. The whole process has a bit of ‘shroud’ around it. My goal is to reveal how the world works.
Here’s how the commercial process generally works with an agency / production company.
1.) Agency Puts a Brief Out
2.) Production Company Submit Director Reels
3.) Agency Selects 3 Production Companies
4.) 1st Call w/ Agency
5.) Director Treatment Created / Submitted
6.) 2nd Call w/ Agency to review Treatment
A few months ago, I was on a clubhouse with a few directors / agency folks that are crushing it.
On the clubhouse, Cole Webley, Christian Shultz, Diego Contreras we’re spitting some wisdom. These dudes are cranking out some of the best commercial spots around.
Plus there were some of the top Agency folks on the call.
These creative directors are the ones who make the decision on a director… so if you want to impress anyone it’s these folks.
Here are my notes from that call:
Creative Directors love when a director brings additional perspective / elevates a spot.
Remember they’ve the agency has spent months on this spot to get approval, so don’t change the script – exalt the idea even further.
Bring your own thoughts, ideas, and unique perspective to make the script come alive.
A treatment doesn’t need to be super long, it needs to add flavor to the spot.
On the call…
Agency folks are looking for amazing questions.
They want to see that your excited about the idea, and even have thought more deeply into it than they have.
Bring questions, thoughts, and ideas to bounce off folks on that first call especially.
The goal is to craft a vision that makes the idea even MORE clear.
Get super clear on your vision, avoid vague terms.
Don’t be afraid to email follow up questions after the call. It shows you care…
Now from the director’s POV.
Write before finding treatment visuals.
Figure out the story 1st, then find images 2nd.
Cole had a cool thought…
Walk through the narrative in your treatment first, then do a page full of random ideas on the second page of the script.
On the second call…
When presenting treatment be excited.
Pitch the big idea, the heart of the idea. Don’t read your treatment like a powerpoint.
Nail into the heard and Crux of the concept
Passion trumps ideas
If you love their idea more than they do. You’ll win the job.
Anyways, I hope this is helpful. Get out there and keep pitching!
If you want more treatment resource, here are 5-sites to find treatments: