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PRODUCTION DEMO QUESTIONS

QUESTION:

I'm a Production Director in a VERY small market. I'm looking to make a move into a larger market, and I was wondering how to put together a demo tape of my production. I do spots, promos, and imaging, and I'd like to include examples of all three, but I'm not sure if there's a standard presentation style for production demo tapes. Do I put an entire 60 second spot or promo on the tape, or just an excerpt? Do I mix my imaging in with my spots, or do I have one side of just spots and promos, then the other side of the tape is imaging? What is the accepted length for a production demo. . .3 minutes? 5 minutes?

Also, much of what I produce wasn't voiced by me. Is it OK to put imaging, promos, and spots on a production demo with other talents' voices?

DAN REPLIES:

There's no need to put an entire commercial on the tape; include just enough to give a good feel of what type of spot it is and where it's going. If you're a production guy, you should be aware that your demo tape is itself an example of your presentation skills. A 2-3 minute montage of commercials should suffice, but that montage should be impressive not only in its content but in its structure and execution; it's a commercial for you.

Same for your promos, although here you might well include one or more complete examples if they're very brief.

>Do I mix my imaging in with my spots, or do I have one
>side of just spots and promos, then the other side of the
>tape is imaging?

I don't know of any standard rule, but it seems logical to me to have spots on one side promos & imaging on the other.

>What is the accepted length for a production
>demo. . .3 minutes? 5 minutes?

You won't like this answer, but the ideal length should be defined as "short enough to make the PD wish it lasted longer." You're not expecting to be hired on the basis of that one tape; it's your calling card. You want it to interest and delight the PD enough to generate a phone call to you, asking for more.

>Also, much of what I produce wasn't voiced by me.
>Is it OK to put imaging, promos, and spots on a
>production demo with other talents' voices?

First I suggest you include as much of your own voice as sounds good. After that, sure. Be certain to mention in your cover letter that one of your strengths is using "the everyday voices" you find surrounding you...which (hopefully subtly) explains why you're not on the tape very much.

SUGGESTION: If your production is good, make sure it's heard by the industry...and maybe the job will come looking for you. For example, RADIO AND PRODUCTION magazine sends a monthly cassette tape to its members, featuring spots, promos & imaging submitted by its subscribers. Subscribe to the publication (it's worth it just for the info & inspiration) and continually submit your stuff for the tape. Their web site can be found at http://www.rapmag.com.

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