TV IS A CATCH-22.
To get a job writing TV spots, you need to show you've written them. Early in my career, I solved this problem by creating SpecBank.com, a site that connects creatives with up-and-coming directors to build their reels together. It was a big success: Today, the Spec Bank community includes 300 directors, 100+ creatives and nearly 1,000 scripts. Dozens of spots have been shot, including several that were broadcast by clients.
The members-only site features a sortable script database, interviews with industry pros, a Q&A blog, and many other resources to help directors break into commercial directing.
"ON THE SPOT"
I also created On The Spot, a speed-dating-style event that lets promising new commercial directors share their work, eight minutes at a time, with EPs and CDs from top production companies and agencies. (Who's that handsome guy with the microphone?!)
Over the years, there've been several member-produced spots that have gone viral, won awards, and/or been purchased and broadcast by clients. Here are some of my favorites.
TIDE TO GO – "COUPLE"
This "gay marriage" spot instantly went viral, and was mentioned in news outlets worldwide for weeks after its release.
VAN CLIBURN – "REACH"
Finalist for the Cannes Young Directors Award.
QUIZNO'S – "HUMAN SANDWICH"
This spot racked up tens of thousands of views in just a few days before Quizno's' lawyers delivered an extra-large Cease & Desist Sandwich.
LABELS ARE FOR JARS
The non-profit ran this spot widely using donated media. It also earned the director a spot in the New Directors Showcase.
NEW YORK LOTTERY – "BIEBER"
A fun spot that also went viral.