TV Production at a Creative Agency | Behind the Scenes

October 11, 2022

Wondering what it takes to produce an agency-quality television spot? You might be surprised at how much planning goes into the process before the commercial is even aired. We sat down with Commit Agency’s Creative Director, Lanny Ward, to get the scoop on what goes on behind the scenes of a TV commercial shoot.

What’s the first step in planning for a TV spot?

LW: We start with the creative brief where we outline what the spot will look like. From there, we brainstorm and get the concept figured out. Once internally approved, we begin creating the storyboard. The client will then approve and we’ll move on to the next step.

Who do you hire?

LW: First we hire a production company. The production company will oftentimes hire a director which we review and approve. After that we do casting calls and hire the talent.

What do you look for in a good production company?

LW: One that is extremely organized, trusted and competent. Luckily, in our experience, we’ve worked with some amazing people.

Can you give me a breakdown of the entire production process?

LW: The producer will kick everything off with a production meeting. We then scout the location and organize everyone’s schedules who’s going to be on set…lighting, sound crew, etc. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it before we even start filming.

Then there’s the scout meeting, tech scout meeting, and then the pre-production meeting (with the client). There will be a production booklet available with all the crew details and contact info.

Next, we begin to shoot the commercial. Rough edits come after that. Clients will sign off on them before we move forward. After that, we do music research and then choose a voice-over actor. Then we finalize those edits. Finally, the editor will produce the spots and traffic to the stations.

How involved are the clients?

LW: The clients are involved pretty much every step of the way. From the creative brief, to the approving of storyboards, to scouting the location, approving of sound effects, voice overs, art cards, rough cut, seeing the final video, there’s really nothing that gets approved without them giving the thumbs up.

What’s the most difficult aspect of TV production?

LW: Selling the initial idea to the client and getting the budget approved!

How long from start to finish does it usually take to produce a commercial?

LW: Depending on the spot, one to three months from start to finish.

What has been your favorite TV spot to work on so far at Commit?

LW: One of my all-time favorite spots we’ve created is our Alien commercial from Goodwill’s ‘Expect the Unexpected’ campaign. Another one from the same campaign is the Sasquatch donation spot.

Interested in working with a creative agency to give your brand a boost? Let’s talk, we’d love to connect with you.