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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #1
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Corporate Video for 30 sec Cable TV Commercial

Hello Everyone,

Someone asked me to do a 30 second cable tv commercial for their business. I'm going to meet them next week. I've never done a tv commercial for cable tv so I'm going to ask you what to ask the marketing person. I've done web videos for businesses. ( Internet web videos on their websites)

For those of you who did this before, what are the things I should find and ask? The cable tv thing is getting me the jitters.

Thanks for your responses!
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Last edited by Jaime Espiritu; March 17th, 2010 at 11:43 AM.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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your client and the cable tv station are 2 different people yes?

The cable station will provide you with their broadcast requirements, like, format (16:9 or 4:3), HD or SD, lenght of time the actual content needs to run-30 seconds from in to out or 29 with 1/2 second lead and tail, slate on the front end with what information, are bars needed, do you need to provide tone (usually a 1 mhz tone for X seconds), what delivery format do they want, DVD, MiniDV, a form of Beta (the ones I've done in the past used to be BetaSP) --this is the kind of information you need if they don't provide it then you need to ask cause otherwise you'll be doing some re-editing.

As for the client you are shooting for, you need the usual stuff from them. Script, VO, length of run 30 seconds 29 whatever, so I would get the info from the station first so you at least have it so if any questions come up from YOUR client about any tech specs you have the information handy.

Be careful don't tell the station who you are shooting for because there are some that will call your client and tell them they will shoot the job FREE is they buy a certain amount of airtime. Generally the free stuff from them, well lets just say that a lot of it I've seen is well, just bad.
Calm down
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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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Corporate Video for 30 sec Cable TV Commercial

Yes, the client and cable channel is different.

I just realized that if I just stick to the basics like that I have been all along, I would not have to worry...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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Jaime,
I'm just curious. What kind of business (what field) was it that you have been asked to make this commercial? I don't wantthe name of the business, just the general field. Thanks for the information. I'm sure that you will do a great job.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #5
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Jaime don't be too nervous. I work in the cable advertising end of it (office jobbie though, not production :(, but I've heard & seen some ridiculous things of what gets sent in. Anything from 33 second spots, to people using ACDC, MC Hammer etc for their local Mom & Pop shop (rejected due to legal). Some, look like they were shot with a camcorder by the owners nephew but unless it's brutally unairable it's ok. Usually only if the coloring or lighting is real bad does it get flagged for production quality. Or video glitches or audio problems (low audio). Gun shops are not supposed to show guns, people cannot be seen actually drinking alchohol (cup to mouth), and if it's for a bar/nightclub you may need to insert a "Drink responsibly" tag at the end.


As Don said, ask for a spec sheet. The cable ad sales rep should be able to send you one. Ours don't allow DVD's, and require black, color bars, a slate, then 10 seconds of black at the beginning & end. Be sure to label the tape case with the client name & you phone # in case they need to contact you. You should be fine. Try sending it in a few days early, it'll help in case it is flagged. Here's a paste of our spec sheet, it's pasted so it may be formatted odd:

Preferred Tape Formats• Any Beta format (SP, Digital, SX, IMX)
• Any DV format (DVCPro, DVCPro 25, DVCPro 50, DVCPro HD, DVCam, Mini DV)
While we can accept DVCPro HD, it will be converted to standard definition for insertion. We do not currently insert on HD networks.


Unacceptable Tape Formats
• 8 mm, Hi-8
• VHS, SVHS
• HDV • One inch
• Three-quarter inch


A minimum of 30 seconds of bars and tone should be at the head of the tape.
There must be a slate prior to each spot denoting title of spot, client, spot length and producer.
There must be 5 seconds of black from the end of the slate to start of the spot.
Spots must be exactly 15, 30 or 60 seconds in length to allow for proper encoding.
There must be at least 10 seconds of black at the end of the spot.
We cannot correct voiceovers or graphic errors on client-supplied commercials.


CONTENT STANDARDS PRODUCTION REQUESTS
We reserve the right to refuse to air any commercial that does not comply with FCC regulations, company policy or ethical standards, or does not meet our specifications regarding video levels, dropouts, audio distortion, tape, or production quality. Allow three days for tag production, and an additional three days if the spot requires approval prior to air.
Dub requests will be completed and sent out within twenty-fours hours of receipt.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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Cable TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Esslinger View Post
Jaime,
I'm just curious. What kind of business (what field) was it that you have been asked to make this commercial? I don't wantthe name of the business, just the general field. Thanks for the information. I'm sure that you will do a great job.
The word "tv" scared me at first but I know it's just another venue to show.

It's an Equipment Rental company...
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #7
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Cable TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
Jaime don't be too nervous. I work in the cable advertising end of it (office jobbie though, not production :(, but I've heard & seen some ridiculous things of what gets sent in. Anything from 33 second spots, to people using ACDC, MC Hammer etc for their local Mom & Pop shop (rejected due to legal). Some, look like they were shot with a camcorder by the owners nephew but unless it's brutally unairable it's ok. Usually only if the coloring or lighting is real bad does it get flagged for production quality. Or video glitches or audio problems (low audio). Gun shops are not supposed to show guns, people cannot be seen actually drinking alchohol (cup to mouth), and if it's for a bar/nightclub you may need to insert a "Drink responsibly" tag at the end.


As Don said, ask for a spec sheet. The cable ad sales rep should be able to send you one. Ours don't allow DVD's, and require black, color bars, a slate, then 10 seconds of black at the beginning & end. Be sure to label the tape case with the client name & you phone # in case they need to contact you. You should be fine. Try sending it in a few days early, it'll help in case it is flagged. Here's a paste of our spec sheet, it's pasted so it may be formatted odd:

Preferred Tape Formats Any Beta format (SP, Digital, SX, IMX)
Any DV format (DVCPro, DVCPro 25, DVCPro 50, DVCPro HD, DVCam, Mini DV)
While we can accept DVCPro HD, it will be converted to standard definition for insertion. We do not currently insert on HD networks.


Unacceptable Tape Formats
8 mm, Hi-8
VHS, SVHS
HDV One inch
Three-quarter inch


A minimum of 30 seconds of bars and tone should be at the head of the tape.
There must be a slate prior to each spot denoting title of spot, client, spot length and producer.
There must be 5 seconds of black from the end of the slate to start of the spot.
Spots must be exactly 15, 30 or 60 seconds in length to allow for proper encoding.
There must be at least 10 seconds of black at the end of the spot.
We cannot correct voiceovers or graphic errors on client-supplied commercials.


CONTENT STANDARDS PRODUCTION REQUESTS
We reserve the right to refuse to air any commercial that does not comply with FCC regulations, company policy or ethical standards, or does not meet our specifications regarding video levels, dropouts, audio distortion, tape, or production quality. Allow three days for tag production, and an additional three days if the spot requires approval prior to air.
Dub requests will be completed and sent out within twenty-fours hours of receipt.

Thanks. This helps and I'll be more armed with the info for the meeting...
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Old March 19th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
Some, look like they were shot with a camcorder by the owners nephew
I.e., every small business owner who chokes at my estimate because they think a 30-sec. commercial takes 30 seconds to shoot.

J.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #9
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Man 30 seconds to shoot? You eating lunch or sumtin! ;-)

Yep, gotta love 'em. "You need how long to shoot and edit this!!!!!! Man it's only 30 seconds. My nephew could this in a lot less time" "OK go head, let him."

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