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Jentham2000

Has anyone made a TV Commercial?

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Hi Everyone.

 

I am a newbie and eventually I would like to make a 15 or 30 second TV Commercial.

 

Is this possible?

 

How do get the studio's to air it?

 

Has anyone doen this before?

 

 

Thanks, Bob

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Hi---YES! A:M is a very adept program for making TV commercials...coupled with a handful of other apps. (You will find you might need an editing program, a compositing program, and an image manipulation program...Some people contend that A:M can do all of this.)

 

You are asking some pretty general questions. Studio's do not 'air' commercials...they make them, usually in conjunction with an 'agency'-who writes, produces, directs, and sells the commercial...and their client- who the commercial is for, and who foots the bill and reaps the reward.

 

The agency will also buy the 'media'...which is airtime on cable or broadcast television. Individuals can approach their local cable stations and buy a package of airtime quite easily. Simply call your local cable or satellite service provider and inquire.

 

I would recommend taking some advertising classes at your local community college, or approaching your local cable station for training. You seem to 'want to know'...and that is an important first step, so PERSUE THE KNOWLEDGE!

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I've always thought TV commercials and Animation:Master are the marriage that should be made in Heaven, but hasn't been yet. Nobody seems to take A:M seriously for feature films, but for advertising it's a natural. Cheap, efficient, lots of re-useable stuff, capable of complex work if you want it and fast work if you don't. There's also precedent (Tak for example) so we know it can be done. Why small-scale local ad work is not routinely done in A:M is beyond me.

 

In other words, J2K, go for it!

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Why small-scale local ad work is not routinely done in A:M is beyond me.

 

I think a big part of it is that small-scale, local advertisers don't have the budgets to support animation. Even if an ad is seen only locally it wil still be viewed with and compared with national ads and that suggests a certain minimum level of production value that has to be met.

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Here's a small selection of TV spots I have made using A:M. I'd like to see other folk's as well...if possible.

 

 

 

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tNtW9yMyTvY

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GQ59K_vGRVU

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PUOJ5ZRr4HM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pP4xpeqaifI

 

That last one...'First Motor Club' is one I did freelance this summer. I had posted on the 'Jobs' forum to see if anyone had a lion model I could buy...someone told me of the 'cougar' on the Xtras DVD and suggested I modify it...so that's what that is! Also of note in that one...the 'weeds' at the start are animated using the wonderful 'dynamic constraint'. The entire job is sort of 'toon' rendered to match the art director's design.

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I've worked at many places (all very small with low budgets) doing ad work. Much of the time, the method and software used are at the discretion of the producer/writer/editor. If I felt like doing an animation, I simply pitched it to the client, and went for it. Very few people, when given the option, will not want to do an animation in their commercial. If you want to do animation in commercials, get a job producing/shooting/editing spots in a very small market - either small TV station or cable TV place. When you show your boss what you can do, he'll want more - especially if you're fast.

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There's more to it.

 

I use A:M primarily as a 'footage generator' and then use After Effects to composite and edit. Sometimes I work with an editor who would use an Avid or DS...

 

My TV production toolkit includes:

Animation:Master, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, Flash, Sony Sound Forge, Sony Vegas, Sony Acid...

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While other software is useful, it's not entirely necessary. Here is a recent spot I did make almost entirely with Animation Master. The amount of additional software you need is entirely dependent on what you want to do. In some cases, you'll be fine with A:M alone.

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Wow, that was really nice!

 

This is what I am shooting for.

 

"AVID Xpress" seems too pricy ($1700.00) for me since I am just starting out. Is this the software you used or did I choose the wrong one? If so, do you know of any that are still good but less expensive.

 

Also, what format do the TV Station generally require for the TV Commmercials.

 

Thanks again, and great job!

 

Bob

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Wow, that was really nice!

 

This is what I am shooting for.

 

"AVID Xpress" seems too pricy ($1700.00) for me since I am just starting out. Is this the software you used or did I choose the wrong one? If so, do you know of any that are still good but less expensive.

 

Also, what format do the TV Station generally require for the TV Commmercials.

 

Thanks again, and great job!

 

Bob

 

There are cheaper options...you might look into Cinelerra. Cinelerra is free, can do feature film resolution video, has six tracks of audio (if I remember correctly), can handle OpenEXR images, it can composite and can use a network to render transitions, effects, etc. It is Linux only, which is a non-starter for some people, but, there are Live CD's that have Cinelerra on them, like Dynebolic and I've seen this VMware version. You could also dual boot Linux and Windows or Linux and OSX...or you could have a dedicated Linux computer.

 

What format a TV station accepts varies depending on their gear. The station I work at accepts BetaSP, DVPro and one inch (very rare now). We occasionally get some local spots on DVD and regular DV, but that's unusual...in the case of regular DV, it's hit or miss whether we can get it to transfer well. The vast majority of the spots we get are sent digitally using services like DG/Fastchannel, VYVX or Pathfire (which was bought by DG/Fastchannel recently). Local businesses generally get a media buyer and they use those services.

 

Hope that helps.

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While AVID Xpress DV is a wonderful pro tool, you can do alot simply with AVID FreeDV - which is the completely free "demo" version of AVID. At home, this is what I use, although you are limited to 2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks. In many cases this is enough (1 track for your imported animation, and another for your titles, or a second composite layer). Depending on the TV station, they may accept something as common as Mini-DV, or perhaps even an uncompressed Quicktime on a CD or DVD (which you can export from AVID FreeDV). It's really going to depend on the stations in your area and what equipment they have - although I don't see any reason why they wouldn't accept these formats.

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