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Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?

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Mark SuszkoWhy do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:46:41 am

Here's what happens when the Big Guy in charge gets a "creative" idea, and nobody in the room has the courage to tell him its not a great idea. The execution on the Bad Guy's makeup is especially facepalm-worthy, but its the script that's really the worst part of this idea.











Can you suggest any other examples?



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Mark SuszkoRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:48:08 am

Mind you, the brains in jars are cute... but.... it's been done....:-)


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Bill DavisRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:24:27 am

So much effort. So much money. And so many minutes gone from viewers lives to make a point that takes no more than a couple of seconds to verbalize. (Plus I've got to admit that 30 seconds after watching this I can't even remember whether it's the server or the network or WHAT that's supposed to be so critically more important than the other.)

And of course, given Murphy's Law - they likely changed the topology of their network approach and suddenly everything they worked so hard to burn into the brains of the team became obsolete within 48 hours.

Gotta love corporate video.







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Mark SuszkoRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:56:42 pm

My friend Morley's book goes into this process, and evangelizes in great deal about the Creative treatment as the fulcrum on which the entire project hinges.

What inexperienced clients do is get an idea into their head from watching something on TV and automatically they think that's the best way to make their video. The results look like the sample above.

The Treatment process walks you thru what the needs are, what the audience is, how the audience thinks, what kinds of messages work best, and only then does it propose a creative direction that hits all these waypoints on the way to a successful message and delivery. And it does so on paper, before you waste a lot of money on celebrity actors-presenters or funky sets and locations, etc.


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Bill DavisRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:35:37 pm

Agreed. Morley's book ROCKS. It achieves what all truly superior technical books achieve - not only explaining WHAT to do to increase your chances of success - but WHY those factors are important.

I suspect that if I was young and starting over - and someone had exposed me even earlier to just two books - Morley's fine work on scriptwriting and Tuffte's "Visual Display of Quantitative Information" - that my career would have gone farther - faster.





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Alan LloydRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:40:11 pm

Can you suggest any other examples?


Any Star Trek parody...ever! Maybe the single most overused anything in corporate communications history.

And I am hoping there is a special layer of hell Dante never even had the vision to imagine for whoever the guy was that first came up with the "words/colon/more words" scheme of titling video pieces.

One of the better scriptwriters I knew always had a mantra - "People aren't that stupid!" That abomination you posted is a sign of someone with absolutely no respect for a prospective audience. Bury a message under grotesque makeup and histrionics like that, and they deserve outright rebellion.

When in doubt, tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, tell 'em what you told 'em - and close it up. Clever and funny work if and only if the writing - and talent - behind it are extremely good.

I rate that piece a "double facepalm", myself.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 18, 2009 at 2:56:37 pm

it is a failure of imagination. I tell clients not to try to imitate TV shows or current films because nothing dates a production faster.


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Alan LloydRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:32:42 pm

Absolutely.

Some people just get an idea stuck in their heads and nothing on earth will pry it free.

(sigh...)


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Mark SuszkoRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:58:37 pm

Long time ago, a friend of mine had to do something like that, the deal was, the big boss controlled the budget, and they saw the big annual project as a way to snhare their "acting" skills with an unappreciative world. Whateve rwas hot that year, the boss had to do a take-off on it, very much like Michael Scott in "The Office". And with similarly cringe-worth results. Sample reel? HELLS, no! Ever smell burned mylar and acetate with a scorched ferromagnetic coating?


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Vince BecquiotRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 19, 2009 at 12:32:06 am

I think that's a good time to coin a new expression, "straight to Youtube".

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Mike CohenRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 19, 2009 at 8:46:34 pm

Well, they did get Mr. T. That was a pretty expensive looking video, with the makeup, glass jars and the Mr. T. who was probably $50K minimum.

Do you know if this was used at a corporate sales meeting type event?

I think everyone agrees that it is the vendor's job to help the client figure out what they want, because often what the client thinks they want is not what they really want. What the client wants is effective communication. What the client knows about is what the client has seen before.

Good thread.

Mike Cohen


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Mark SuszkoRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Sep 23, 2009 at 2:45:12 pm

I think they got Terrell for a lot less than 50 large; by his appearance in the clip, I'm guessing this was not shot during his big post-"Rocky"/westling heyday, but in the later time when his film career was dormant and he'd do any kind of spot, even low-budget quick-loan type spots. Still, if you know how to play to his strengths, you can get some great stuff out of him:









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grinner hesterRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Oct 1, 2009 at 5:29:05 pm

This is another fine example of how bosses should just walk around the building smiling.



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Timothy J. AllenRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Oct 7, 2009 at 6:14:38 pm

In a world where most videos have NO budget and are made with no actors - just stock music, a voice over and graphics, I sometimes long for the days when I got to have real actors props and costumes.

Thanks, Mark for curbing that longing for at least the next year or so.



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Bob TompkinsRe: Why do I never get the *fun* assignments?
by on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:55:06 pm

Sorry to get in so late but...how long do you think hey worked on that guys make-up before they completely gave up? And was Mr. T there the whole time? I am sure after a while they justified that it made it look hokier but that could not have been their goal.



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