Brad: "One of the most fascinating things is the concept of working with seconds. While a 60 second short-form goes by quickly, it's amazing how much you can convey in just a few seconds. One of our strategies is to maximize the use of seconds, by using a wide range of techniques to create a fast-moving commercial." Chris: "We have to be flexible in our work by being open to constant change – from the client, from our creative people, from our strategists. Our first cut is never what we end up with, and that's a positive, because it means a lot of smart people are working to make it the best possible commercial."Brad Barkley, Senior Editor (L) & Chris Brimmer, Senior Editor (R)
You guys have edited hundreds of infomercials and short-forms. What are the three most important lessons you've learned over the years?
First on the list would be having a clear understanding of how to use all the advanced editing features that we have in our HD Avid systems. We have three of them at our facility. These are among the most advanced systems in existence, and they have so many capabilities. The trick is to know when to use them and how to use them, so that they add value to the commercial. You don't want to load up a commercial with bells and whistles that do nothing, or worse, detract from it.
Next would be that we check our egos at the door every day. We know there is no right or wrong way of editing. Every commercial we do is truly a collaborative effort among about a dozen experts. This is not a business to be in if you have pride of authorship. All we care about is producing the best possible commercial that generates sales or leads for our clients and if that means changing the same 10 second sequence 20 times, so be it!
The third one would be attention to detail. It may not be obvious, but there are an endless number of details that go into every spot or infomercial. We always have to look at the big picture while tinkering with color, style, supers (letters on the TV screen), music, voice, animation, product shots,
people shots and on and on. That's over and above making sure that every detail of the offer is correct and that all names are spelled correctly.
What new cutting edge editing tactics have you used successfully for our clients?
We use a technique called "green screen composting" for testimonials, something we borrowed from the movies. We shoot our testimonials on a green screen background. Doing so enables us to drop in any background, so that the person can appear to be up in the air without us having to actually do a shoot on an airplane, as an example.
We also use our editing equipment to manipulate the music that's been created for a commercial and add sound effects where they make sense. You'd be surprised how a subtle change in audio can make a big impact.
While we've done a lot of great work, what stands out in our minds is the
6-armed small businessman we did for Intuit's QuickBooks. Our creative people came up with this great concept and we had to figure out how to do it. It was complex, took a tremendous amount of time, but it was an extremely effective opening to a short-form. Go to http://D3S.acquirgy.net and click on the Intuit QuickBooks thumbnail to watch it.
You can download the entire eBook at any time at: http://BS123.acquirgy.net
Irv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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