Self-Help Books from Cengage Learning PTR

The 30-Second Storyteller, The Art and Business of Directing Commercials

The 30-Second Storyteller, The Art and Business of Directing Commercials

ISBN 13: 9781598632262

ISBN 10: 1598632264

Author: Thomas Richter

Pages: 320

Published: 06/08/2006

Print Book Price: $21.95 Add to cart

Imagine a job where you need to work only 10 days a year to make $100,000. A job that allows you to be a respected artist, a savvy craftsman, and a hip partygoer who hangs out with celebrities, superstars, and top models. No need to wear a tie and suit. No corporate office hours, and no supervising department heads checking your time card. At your command explosions occur, cars crash, helicopters swoop, and you are expected to spend a million dollars in a week or two. This job exists. It's called a commercial director, the creative mind behind the production of a TV spot. While being a commercial director may be one of the coolest jobs in the world, it's also one of the toughest jobs to get (and keep). The 30-Second Storyteller: The Art and Business of Directing Commercials teaches any filmmaker how to get work as a commercial director, how to navigate the pitfalls of production, and how to get clients to keep coming back to you for more. The book is not a textbook on directing-plenty of other books cover that. Rather, The 30-Second Storyteller focuses on directorial challenges specifically related to creating a TV spot-the techniques involved, the technologies of choice, and the obstacles that come between you and a successful career. It begins by teaching you how to get your foot in the door-creating a spec reel, picking a specialty, getting signed with a production company, and successfully bidding for projects. It then covers the production of a commercial from preproduction through the shoot, all the way to finishing in post-production. Examples from a real-world commercial are utilized throughout to illustrate concepts. The book concludes with advice on obtaining work abroad, and making the jump from commercials to features, as TV ads are a training ground for Hollywood's next blockbuster director. Filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Michael Bay, David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, Tarsem and Zack Snyder have all gotten their start in the 30-second world.
  • Provides the first book on how to break in and do the job of commercial director, a great career and/or stepping stone to feature directing
  • Explains in detail legwork necessary to breaking into the industry: picking a specialty, creating a spec reel, getting signed by a production company, pitching your idea and getting a job
  • Describes how to deliver after you get the job: casting, dealing with the agency, shooting, editing, and using the right technology
  • The author has directed ads for Toyota, Infinity, The San Francisco Giants, IKEA, Coolboarders the videogame, and more
Author Bio
Thomas Richter
Since earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Film from the prestigious Art Center College of Design, Thomas Richter has won dozens of awards for both commercials and short films, including the John Sayles Award for Best Narrative Short, the Silver Hugo Award for Best Campaign, and the ITVA Platinum Award for Media Excellence. Thomas has directed commercials for clients as diverse as Ford, Toyota, Infiniti, The San Francisco Giants, IKEA, and Coolboarders the videogame, among many others. Check out his work at
cover image - The 30-Second Storyteller, The Art and Business of Directing Commercials
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Commercial Directors World, Chapter 2: Breaking into Commercials, Chapter 3: Getting the Job, Chapter 4: The Treatment, Chapter 5: Directors Prep, Chapter 6: Preproduction, Chapter 7, Preproduction Meeting, Chapter 8: Getting the Shot, Chapter 9: Working with the Agency-Dealing with the Client, Chapter 10: The Directors Cut, Chapter 11: Expanded Post Production, Chapter 12: The Next Step, Chapter 13: Appendix (16)