How to Make a Commercial


imagine that you’re a company looking to advertise during the American superbowl one of the best commercial spots of the year that cost about four million dollars to have your advert shown so you probably want to make the most of it well in 2014 budweiser used up 55 of their 60 seconds without showing a single bottle of beer 55 seconds of a sweet story about puppies friendship with a horse followed by an easily missable shot of what must be beer and the branding only the very end so why so many commercials like this surely they should focus on the product rather than some loosely related bit of entertainment well maybe they believe in the power of storytelling so much so that they’re willing to spend ninety percent of their expensive commercial slot to associate their brand with a story of friendship that harks back to the old days when things were simpler. these are ideas that we can connect with on a much deeper level than if they just made a commercial that tried to convince us that they have been tastes better than the other brands so with that in mind it was my turn to make something definitely not a super bowl commercial or any kind of traditional advertising but still a project that was paid for in order to promote something in our case a film festival. so we’ve got our client and we know that they’re looking to spread the word about their festival as the submission deadline is coming up. now it’s very important to know what they’re looking for what they’re trying to get out of this and then also their target audience which in this case is filmmakers who might want to enter a short film festival. so we found out what the client wants from a marketing point of view but thinking back to the puppy story I decided to approach this the same way I would approach any project. instead of asking myself what’s a good idea for a commercial i start with what’s on your mind so for the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about how we romanticize creative careers like it’s just a complete dream world of creative talent and genius collaboration and everyone’s getting paid to do what they love but for me that good stuff is only a tiny tiny fraction of what it’s really like to spend your time writing shooting and editing and so that became the concept what if we could make something that showed what it was really like to make films or creative work at least from my perspective of the people i’ve talked to rather than making something about the festival let’s try and make something that every single person who enters the festival will care about. making films so we’ve got our main concept but like most ideas it starts out pretty murky and nonspecific so I usually like to start by deciding some things that I definitely don’t want to do. For example I didn’t want to sugarcoat filmmaking only showing the fun and easy parts. We’ve all seen those interviews where the actors are saying how much fun they’ve had and how talented everyone is but the truth is for the people who are in charge of the project at least, the pressure is very very high they’ve got a million things to think about and things just keep going wrong the second thing is I don’t want to imply that having better equipment and a larger crew will make everything easier money doesn’t get rid of your problems it just gives you different ones. So what it’s true the bigger productions have more to work with suddenly a lot more is expected of you and the stakes are much higher so I didn’t want to present either low budget or higher budget filmmaking as being a perfect utopia. so we know what we’re trying to say and we have a couple of things to avoid but there are still a million different ways you can make this commercial should we show one moment that sums up our message or follow someone in a montage throughout their entire career or should we focus on multiple people or just one character In the end I decided to follow a bunch of different filmmakers at different points in their career because I kind of feel like that’s what creative careers are like no it’s not just one straight path. So I pitch that concept to the client as a truthful montage of what it’s really like to be a filmmaker and they gave the thumbs up. So i started organizing some shoots and because it’s a commercial project as usual was a little bit of money to go into the production and I decided that it would be most effectively used if it went to the cast the crew and the locations so no money spent on equipment basically but how do you find people and places on a very low budget well I put a casting call On Star now which is a decent place to find actors in london at least they’re found a website where you can find venues to hire for events and stuff it lists all the spaces you can book and their prices this one worked out well for London but there’ll be an alternative for your nearest city and so I started making a big list of all these different moments in the production process. These were based around those Universal filmmaking problems we don’t have enough money and we don’t have enough time and so in the true spirit of that I left all of the organizing until two days before the shoot which meant i was literally giving a bunch of actors the details the night before and so will leave this for now as i’m frantically trying to sort ouy logistics on the train until next week when we talk about the shoot and by the way if you’d like to see the finished product the first link in the description but i’ll see you next week for part two

98 thoughts on “How to Make a Commercial

  1. Would you guys mind giving me feedback on my film. Alaska in 4K. Thank you so much.

  2. Hi everyone, hope you're having amazing day. I want to go in the commercial world as a 16 year old I'm working very hard to step up my game and i have gained lots of knowledge about filmmaking. I have one misconception which i hope some people here can clear it for me. Is 'marketing' same thing as making commercials more specifically do we make commercials in marketing field? I have done very very basic marketing course and some knowledge from you guys will be helpful for me.

  3. Hey Jamie! I really liked your, sadly, underrated channel. Do you think you will ever restart it? What are the projects you said you are working on? I would love to see them. And can you pleace tell me more about why you assisted Simon in the editing procces of this video?

  4. Another excellent and informative video Simon. Thank you for all the hard work you put into your videos. Keep it up

  5. I love you're videos you are so inspiring i make films and travel videos! I am only 12 but check me out and give me some feedback!!

  6. Man, I asked a question before and you didn't answered, I said, which is the best editing software? I use Vegas Pro, do you recommed me to use Video Editor? Which is the most confortable?

  7. why do you talk so quiet its scary you can talk louder man i believe in you XD

  8. Besides actors and venues. Do you know any good websites to find jobs? (besides facebook groups, craigslist, linkedin and forums)

  9. Holy , Man that's impressive ! I really like the final product and its always good idea to show stuff from a different angle then do some another boring commercial ! Greetings Simon ! πŸ™‚

  10. I'm a twelve year old filmmaker and I'm going to film a short documentary video on Rugby soon. Any tips anyone?

  11. Please can you check out my recent short film video ? It's a film that I put hours and days of effort into, would be great if you could πŸ™‚

  12. Great video Simon!

    I'm a 14-year-old filmmaker, and I was looking for some tips on how to get your name out there.

    I've filmed multiple events before and I do a lot of event coverage work. But the problem is my name isn't out there for people to call. Any tips?

  13. Looking forward for the next parts! πŸ™‚ Cheers for sharing your experiences!
    Keep up the good work!

  14. Woah! I'm in a Simon Cade video (4:39). What a pleasant surprise. Keep up the great work mate! πŸ˜„

  15. πŸ…²πŸ…°πŸ…½ πŸ†ˆπŸ…ΎπŸ†„ πŸ…·πŸ…΄πŸ…»πŸ…Ώ πŸ…ΌπŸ…΄ πŸ†πŸ…΄πŸ…°πŸ…²πŸ…· 10.000 πŸ†‚πŸ†„πŸ…±πŸ†‚πŸ…²πŸ†πŸ…ΈπŸ…±πŸ…΄πŸ†πŸ†‚ ?
    πŸ†ƒπŸ…·πŸ…ΈπŸ†‚ πŸ…ΌπŸ…΄πŸ…°πŸ…½πŸ†‚ πŸ…Έ πŸ††πŸ…ΈπŸ…»πŸ…» πŸ…½πŸ…΄πŸ†…πŸ…΄πŸ† πŸ†‚πŸ…·πŸ…ΎπŸ†† πŸ†„πŸ…Ώ πŸ…ΈπŸ…½ πŸ†ˆπŸ…ΎπŸ†„πŸ† πŸ…΅πŸ…΄πŸ…΄πŸ…³ πŸ†‚πŸ…Ύ πŸ†ƒπŸ…·πŸ…΄πŸ†πŸ…΄ πŸ…ΈπŸ†‚ πŸ…½πŸ…Ύ πŸ†πŸ…΄πŸ…°πŸ†‚πŸ…ΎπŸ…½ πŸ…½πŸ…ΎπŸ†ƒ πŸ†ƒπŸ…Ύ πŸ†‚πŸ†„πŸ…±πŸ†‚πŸ…²πŸ†πŸ…ΈπŸ…±πŸ…΄. πŸ…°πŸ…»πŸ†‚πŸ…Ύ πŸ…ΈπŸ…΅ πŸ†ˆπŸ…ΎπŸ†„ πŸ…²πŸ…ΎπŸ†„πŸ…»πŸ…³ +1 πŸ†ƒπŸ…·πŸ…ΈπŸ†‚ πŸ…²πŸ…ΎπŸ…ΌπŸ…ΌπŸ…΄πŸ…½πŸ†ƒ πŸ†ƒπŸ…·πŸ…°πŸ†ƒ πŸ††πŸ…ΈπŸ…»πŸ…» πŸ…·πŸ…΄πŸ…»πŸ…Ώ πŸ…ΌπŸ…΄ πŸ…ΎπŸ†„πŸ†ƒ πŸ…»πŸ…ΎπŸ…°πŸ…³πŸ†‚.

  16. Wow Simon, I am just staring to really realize how much I love making videos, and you are guiding me along the way. Thank you so much. Keep up the great work.

  17. Simon….those Clydesdale horses are very iconic & associated by the American public with Budweiser Beer…..so they were advertising better than you think.

  18. Thanks Simon! That must've been awesome to be a part of that commercial. I can't wait to get to that point in my film career

  19. You still use Canon T3i/600D !?
    But Amazing quality + Great Content = Always a delight to Watch.

  20. If I was shooting video at 60fps, but displaying at 24 fps, what would I set my shutter speed to?

  21. First of All. Sorry for my bad English. Right now im in the First phase of a promovideo project. I need to make a concept and on the hand of that a quotation. (you need to know that I do not have much expierence with paid projects).The problem is that Im a perfectionist and never know when something is good enough. I just can't start because nothing is good enough. Have you been in this situation? If so, any tips?

  22. You play the violin?? Not a regular viewer but really like what you are doing. What pieces do you play? Personally i enjoy playing romantic and baroque style composition.

  23. What a world we would live in if Film Riot, Andyax, Eskel, DSLRGuide, and Filmmaker IQ made a collab…

  24. Quite jealous of hirespace. Some decent spaces and prices. Things like that in NYC are few and far between.

  25. I have an question and challenge for you. Would it be able to vlog with canon 600d with no problems?(thats the challenge, and alone) And Should I get canon 600d for 230€(canon 700d for new 430€), and in 1080p HD how long it will record on 1 battery before stopping?

  26. i really enjoyed this, it's wonderful to see a position i aspire to be in some day, maybe
    having watched this channel for some time
    i've found a little project i want to do
    there is a picture i want to take, and with it there'll be some film i can make too
    and i do have an idea as to where i can use it in a video
    my camera, tripod and outfit is all ready
    and i'll be walking about 2 miles out an hour before sunrise to take this picture at the break of dawn
    i'm seriously excited !

  27. Hey! Nice video. One question: I have a Canon T5i and I want to start on Youtube, your videos look great. So I was wondering, what lenses do you use? Greetings from Mexico.

  28. So, what about the bud logos on the hats etc, etc? You missed a lot of subliminal placement, which is the point of the ad. So it was 90% of subliminal, story was just the vehicle

  29. Ok; No. You are talking about branding here. Not story telling. They share attributes but are not even remotely near to be the same thing. Thank you.

  30. I just did one with 3 weeks of planning and with 2 other topics and chose to do Colgate and when to you're channel for advice although I've been subscribed since February

  31. You probably won't see this but I just wanted you to know how much of a help you are to me. I'm 14 years old and I'm trying to make myself as a filmmaker better. I have been going through each of your videos and have been taking notes. Most of my recent videos have just been fun little montages of me and my friends doing fun stuff. But I have been working my way into more videos that tell a story. You have been an inspiration to me.

    Thank You.

  32. Hi Simon! Really loving your videos. I have one tip for a video for you. I have trouble using stock music (even high quality – non free music). I tried to make a short short film (2min) and I tried to use stock music (I am not that good at composing and i do not have VST synths, piano, etc.). However I have trouble combining multiple stock tacks in my project (they are in different key, and I can not cut the track wherever i want because it is not consistant that way). Can you please cover this topic in one of your videos ? Thank you πŸ™‚

  33. Hey guys, i'm just a high schooler with a newfound interest in filmmaking, who happens to have a school project for making an advert against doing drugs at a young age. Can anyone here help me get a good concept? I've been brainstorming for the last two days and nothing good has come up.

  34. Thanks for helping – great teaching! I am not someone in your circle of expertise at all. I just need to make one video per month for my business and post to youtube. There are skin issues I would like to smooth. I have NO idea at all how to even think of a fix. I mean its a video not a still shot so I'm confused. Is my only answer to use a video editor that has an overlay of blurring? I have a pc with a logitech cam (does video) but I was thinking how much easier it would be to use my android tablet. Any thoughts at all would be appreciated. I have spent an hour online searching and can't find a 'how to'. Thanks

  35. Off topic.
    I saw one of your videos a month ago and decided to subscribe to your channel.

    Ever since I've watched almost every video and I have learned more about video and film making in one month than in the past year..
    The way your present things, your passion for film making, sharing your honest and structured experience and deciding what info to provide is just pure gold.

    I just wanted to say thank you and keep on doing what you do best!

  36. Your videos are incredible. You basically take everything most people never think about and tell us about it. Keep up the great work πŸ˜‰

  37. Hey dslrguide , I've been wanting to get into photography and film making for quite some time now…. Could you perhaps recommend some suggestions? I've been looking at the 70D ( filmmakers and photographers feel free to make suggestions on which video camera I should purchase ) it would be GREATLY appreciated!

  38. Simon

    You must handle your transitions better. It's very unsettling when you move, but the background does not. I think use of two cameras would help. A slow transition while you pause might help.

  39. Can you make a basic how to shoot a youtube video tutorial ? Not like a vlog but like a main channel videos with basic editing..

  40. Hi Simon! I love your videos! Do you know an effective way to overcome writer's block?

    thank you πŸ™‚

  41. Hi Simon, thanks for another cool and informative video. Quick question, is there a way to connect something like a Zoom H5 recorder mounted on the hotshoe to the camera via its audio in port so that the sound from the Zoom is recorded on the video file made by the camera ? Thank you in advance

  42. dude….how can i buy final cut pro x? i cant find any site to buy it..pls if you can answer me…

  43. Greetings Simon. I use a Canon EOS Kiss X4 DSLR, everytime I record a video, it always says "Movie recording has been stopped automatically". What could be the problem?

  44. I get your "you can use old stuff yet still achieve good results" kind of thingy, but honestly. You've no idea how much more you can do with better equipment. Or maybe you do. But still. I believe that if you got your hands on 30000 worth of filming equipment, you could make.. like a full movie probably. Cause your philosophy about filmmaking is just through the roof.

  45. Apple? Apple? Apple? Awwww man…Simon, you and I worked sooo hard on that little bit of branding (apple+bite+"crunch"). What happened?

  46. The Budwiser Company has a brand that normally one can recognize. The Clydesdale Horse. The Budwiser Clydesdales. A rare breed. The breed was developed from Flemish stallions imported to Scotland and crossed with local mares. That being said, budwiser made a wise choice not to show a budwiser bottle. Budwiser's clydesdale commcial represents the company as a whole for when budwiser made and sold the first budwiser bottle. Yes…story telling is crucial. I am behind your video 100%.

  47. One small detail I'd like to point out. Over the decades of Budweiser commercials. They have spent millions with brand recognition with Clydesdale horses. So from the first moment we saw those horses we knew it was a Bud commercial.

  48. hey Simon! this film school stolen your utube content (lots of different youtube accounts). follow them on facebook u will see how much they charge on students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe9IDly8UC4

  49. I really liked the idea of showing the contrast between what you expect and what actually happens. I think that is an excellent idea. I thought that was what you were going to do, but after finishing this I am not so sure. It seems like you might only plan on showing what it is really like. While that is good too as the target audience already knows what they thought it would be like, I think it would be more dramatic to see the contrast.

    Thanks for sharing your thought process. It was well thought out (pun intended πŸ˜‰ ) and makes this video a very useful training video. And since I am trying to learn it is especially useful, just like all of your other videos. πŸ™‚

  50. Oh my god that t3i has GOT to go. Get a better camera dumb ass and quit lying to yourself saying you don't need an expensive camera. You're right to an extent but god damn get rid of that t3i. If a baker wanted to open up a bakery do you think he's gonna use a microwave? Fuck no he's gonna get a good oven. GET A GOOD OVEN

  51. You should write your own book called "Believe in the Power of Storytelling" πŸ˜€

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