Hello Film Doctor friends.
With so many filmmakers starting their careers at ad agencies, it is no wonder that the Film Doctor team have decided to have a little dive into “Mad Men’s world”.
This week’s Monday Prescription looks at what filmmakers can take away from advertising.
1. Selling ideas to clients/Selling to the target market = Selling project concept to investors / “Selling” your film to the audience – If anyone knows how to sell ideas it’s “the ad people”, right? Notice one important thing when researching ads: packaging. Learn their techniques – pitching, mood boards, visuals, empathy, emotional triggers, etc. If you can “package” and present your project, as effectively, as the creatives at Saatchi & Saatchi, then you’ve got the attention of your ‘target group’ – be it film investors, festival programmers or the viewers buying movies online.
2. The power of catchy ad songs = The power of music in film – Ad people know the power of a catchy tune – and the power of association that it creates. Music in ads serve not only as an ‘attention getter’, but can create a lasting memory or association – McDonald’s and Justin Timberlake’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, for example. Music can also become defining or even somewhat iconic for a movie, so don’t overlook that creative aspect of your project. Music isn’t just something to ‘throw in’. Directors like Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola and Danny Boyle all have impressive soundtracks.
3. Discipline & deadlines management = Discipline & deadlines management – Being able to pull off something high quality on a tight deadline is what the ad agencies do. If you master that, no feature film shooting schedule will ever be a headache for you.
4. Subliminal messages/Image louder than words = Subtext / Showing more than telling – The best adverts influence us with subliminal messages ‘transmitted’ through a great combination of memorable artwork/photo & copy. Ad ‘films’ (for TV & web) follow the “show more, speak less” principle: the words/voice over are carefully crafted and measured, so that just the right amount of ‘spoken message’ accompanies the ‘seen message’. Cinema is a visual medium after all, so you could take a leaf from the advertisers’ book and train yourself to use clever, powerful imagery over sparse dialogue. You don’t always need to “spell it out” for the audience – rather, become a master of subtext and iconic shots.
5. Telling stories – Says it all really. Great ads are great little stories.