There’s more to filming 30 seconds

130615_Donna_filmingWithout a doubt there has been an explosion of media fragmentation. We are now producing materials for a diverse range of mediums. No longer does material for a simple 30-second TV advert remain only on the TV.

Right now it is a Producer’s dream ; there is a need to know many more suppliers and to have a myriad of skills and knowledge, in order to deliver informed and quality materials. This diversity means that more than ever we can work with the very best creative talent – photographers, film directors, post production effects companies… and the possibilities are as far as our imagination will take us (and of course, our clients allow).

Take for instance Pepsi’s recent augmented reality bus shelter advertisement, or Nike’s ‘I run for’ campaign in relation to the Hong Kong Marathon earlier this year where they dominated across social media. Suntory whiskey used 3D ice sculptures, or vertical football fields with players suspended from the side of a high-rise building for Adidas. Even simply, as they’ve done in Japan, wrapping today’s news around a bottle of water!

There are many aspects to, and lessons to be learnt from producing projects like this, and interestingly enough, they aren’t all too different from the way we worked before digital, before the internet, before we had all these choices:

  1. Ask the questions upfront, at the initial brief.
    When are you first negotiating the Cast, for example, will this run on any other medias? Is it far more economical to build multiple uses into the initial fee than to return to the Casting Agent to negotiate ongoing fees?
  2. Work closer with the creative development team.
    Integrate early in the creative process what is possible from media OR what is possible creatively, and of course, matching the creative idea to a price tag.
  3. Protect and manage your digital assets.
    This is possibly the one that has differed to any extent. With the diversity of requirements comes the diversity of suppliers, and it goes without saying that your most valued asset may become so dispersed that it will cost you money to access what was originally yours. Set up a web based management system where all assets and master material may be housed.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur” We are all producers these days! But beware, Production of any sort is time and money – it is still marketing and advertising, we have a product and a brand to protect, not to mention a media deadline and a budget, which we need to adhere to.

Remember, it is not the size of the problem; it is how you handle it.


Donna Hampton (Svanberg), is the Owner & Executive Producer of CAPITOL Productions, a locally-based production company working globally and a Legends & Leaders mentor in the TV/Content Production module.

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