Commercial Production: Where’s It Headed?


Adotas sat down with Jennette MacLachlan (pictured below), recently hired as Executive Producer at Big Block, the creative agency and experiential marketing company, to explore how video commercials are made and how the process can be improved.

Q: What would you like to improve about the way commercial projects get created and produced?

A: I would love to involve the directors as early in the process as possible, ideally partnering them with the creative team in crafting the concept and working through that process together. Especially these days as budgets get smaller and expectations remain high, it would be ideal to be a creative partner from the beginning to maximize production value.

Q:  What skills make a director successful in the business of making commercials? Are those skills different in any way from those needed to direct other kinds of film/TV/online video projects?

A: A commercial director needs to be able to tell a story in a very short amount of time, sometimes it’s :60 but sometimes it can be a campaign of :15 or :06 spots. Being able to tell a story in seconds instead of minutes or hours is a different approach and skill set.

Q: You’ve spent a lot of time learning about virtual reality and are developing a significant VR project. What will wide adoption of VR mean for your business?  

A: I think the future of entertainment absolutely involves AR/VR, it’s just a matter of time until there’s mass adoption. The driving force of new mediums has always been advertising – magazines, TV, films, even the Oscars started as a marketing campaign – and I don’t think AR/VR will be any different.

Q: What’s the funniest or craziest thing that ever happened to you on a set?  

A: The animals I’ve gotten to be close to on set has been fun, my favorite was playing with baby brown bears, they crawl all over you! We had a chimp drive a race car once too, but you couldn’t get too close because they’re unpredictable!


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