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Bringing TV Commercials to Air

Bringing a TV commercial to air involves the collaboration of various teams, from the

production company to the advertising agency, broadcast networks, and media buyers. The

process is complex, and attention to detail is crucial to ensure that the final product is of the

highest quality and is delivered to the right audience.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how a production company brings an ad agency's TV

commercial to air.

Step 1: Pre-Production

The first step in bringing a TV commercial to air is pre-production. During this phase, the

production company collaborates with the advertising agency to develop the concept, script,

storyboards, and budget for the commercial. This phase also involves casting actors, scouting locations, and selecting the right equipment for the look and feel of the shoot. This is also the phase of production we scout locations and choose crew based on the needs and size of the production. As with most things in life location means everything and the right locations for filming a commercial are crucial to the process.

Step 2: Production

Once the pre-production phase is complete, the production team begins shooting the

commercial/commercials. This phase involves setting up lights, cameras, and sound equipment,rehearsing scenes, and capturing footage. The team ensures that they follow the storyboard and stay on schedule. This phase usually happens over several days depending on the needs of the commercial shoot and with many moving parts things can come off the rails really fast so having a strong crew with solid leadership is key in this process.

Step 3: Post-Production

After the shoot, the production company edits the footage, adds special effects, music, and

sound effects. They also color correct the video and adjust the audio to ensure that the final

product meets the client's expectations. This phase can take several weeks if not longer to

complete, depending on the complexity of the commercial and client revisions throughout the

post process.

Step 4: Approval

Once the production company completes the post-production phase, they send the final

product to the advertising agency for approval. The advertising agency reviews the commercial and ensures that it meets the client's expectations. If there are any changes required, the production company makes the necessary adjustments and resubmits the final product for approval.

Step 5: Media Buying

After the commercial is approved, the advertising agency works with media buyers to select the right time slots and channels for the commercial. Media buyers negotiate with broadcasters to secure the best possible rates and ensure that the commercial reaches the target audience.

Step 6: Distribution

Finally, the commercial is distributed to the broadcast networks for airing. The production

company delivers the final product to the networks in the required format, such as 15, 30 or 60-second spots. The networks then schedule the commercial to air at the selected time slots.

Overall, bringing a TV commercial to air requires collaboration among multiple teams,

including the production company, advertising agency, media buyers, and broadcast networks.

The process involves pre-production, production, post-production, approval, media buying, and distribution. By following this process, the production company can ensure that the final

product is of the highest quality and reaches the intended audience.

The steps above may be different for some but in my almost two decades of working as a

commercial production professional as a Director, Cinematographer and owner of a production company (Next30 Productions) this has been the most common practices I've seen through the years.

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