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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #1
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Is a 30 second commercial really 30 seconds?

I'm in the process of cutting a 30 second commercial, on Final Cut Pro, that will play on a couple of cable channels.
Does the piece need to be exactly 30 second or do I need to leave a little room on the front and back?
Is it different for different cable stations?
Is there a standard duration with blank tags that stations accept or do I need to contact the individual stations to find their requirements?

Thanks,
D
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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all of the commericals I've done were to the exact time the client bought. Of course I put a slate up front with the color bars and tone but this was on the head before the actual commerical. If the call for 30 seconds give them 30 seconds otherwise you MIGHT mes up their time slots.

Don
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Old April 16th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #3
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Normally the station will have 0.00.31.00 allocated to a commercial spot. Fade out from show .15 fade in to commercial .15 commercial 30.00, and then the fade out, in repeated.

Jim
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Old April 16th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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Great, Thanks for the response.

One other thing, I've been told that they'll accept the spot on MiniDV tape; is this becoming more the norm?

Will I lose any quality?

I shot this on the XL-H1, so it'll be on it's original medium; obvious no gain by going to a Beta tape and digital is digital but if I print to tape (using the H1)am I going to lose anything?

Cheers,
D
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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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David, I do some TV spots here and there and at my local ABC affiliate they don't want MiniDV, they'd actually rather take a DVD (if do you use a DVD just be real careful with compression). Although they prefer Beta, which I may just do in the future for simplicity.

If you shot in DV, and print to DV, you won't lose quality.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #6
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Well in Australia they must be exactly 30 seconds. Used to be with 12 frames of not critical audio at the head and tail but nowadays with digital technology running everything they will usually accept 6-8 frames before audio.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #7
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Be guided by the stations standard. Contact them personally to be sure. If you submit the comercial on the wrong format, it will not be accepted. Be sure to lay down 60 sec of color bars and tone signal and count down. Make sure your audio is in direct relation to the tone signal
Allen W
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Old April 17th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #8
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Make sure your audio is in direct relation to the tone signal
Allen W
Could you explain what you mean by this?
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Old April 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #9
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Could you explain what you mean by this?
Make sure your audio is in direct relation to the tone signal
Allen W

Your tone signal of 1kHz is a reference signal so the proper volume may be set at the broadcasting station based on that signal.
Example; the tone signal is set and recorded at -20db. The volume of recorded video should fall between -20 & -12 with the highest volume going no higher than -12. This gives you head room so un-expected peaks won't lead to distortion. On analog units, to momentarily red line or peak is not a problem. Digital is less forgiving.

If your audio volume is is not in direct relation to the tone signal as described above, when the program is broadcast, it will either be to high or to low.

Allen W
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Old April 17th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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Great info.

Thanks so much.

Cheers,
D
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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If you shot in DV, and print to DV, you won't lose quality.
That's a common misconception. The only time you wont lose quality is if you do absolutely nothing with the video except cuts. As soon as you add transitions, effects, titles, etc., you will lose quality, because it must be recompressed. I would prefer to use a less compressed codec (especially for a 30 spot).
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Old April 17th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #12
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Yep.... That's why they call it a 30!

For SD NTSC in FCP, just lay a slug on the timeline at 29.29 for a limit mark.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #13
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Normally the station will have 0.00.31.00 allocated to a commercial spot. Fade out from show .15 fade in to commercial .15 commercial 30.00, and then the fade out, in repeated.

Jim
So for a 30 second commercial I should make sure I have .15 on each end just for fade, equaling :31? The :30 spot music I just got is actually :31 and 6 frames, which makes me think that the spot should be :31 instead of :30 (which is what I have now.)

Thanks,

Matthew Rogers
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Old April 17th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Matthew Rogers View Post
So for a 30 second commercial I should make sure I have .15 on each end just for fade, equaling :31? The :30 spot music I just got is actually :31 and 6 frames, which makes me think that the spot should be :31 instead of :30 (which is what I have now.)

Thanks,

Matthew Rogers

No!
All you get is :30 seconds.
Not 31 and 6 frames.
Not 31.
just 30.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #15
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Nope 30 seconds is 30 seconds of air time no matter whats up front not 31 not 30.1- station have a very tight schedule to follow and they really prefer cuts at the front and back not fades at least the stations I've supplied commericals to prefer it that way.
If the music isn't 30 seconds then you'd better cut it or have the client send you different music.
I've done enough to know that every station has a set of criteria to follow and if you don't they'll in most cases kick it back to be done correctly-my suggestion is to contact the station it's to be aired on and ask for their criteria.
BTW most station still want BETA some SP many will accept DVD but almost none will take mini or even full size DV tapes.

Don
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