Pleasure and pain: Delivering the rough cut to our client!
May 25, 2012
Today the water broke at gyro!
Ladies please forgive the comparison but we are in the process of birthing a new TV commercial, our first. And it is indeed a lot like delivering a child…metaphorically. And today we show the client the fruits of our labor: the rough cut. One big difference, unlike a child, the client is not obligated to love his commercial unconditionally. While I have ample reason to believe otherwise, he may loathe it.
The agency is a maternity ward, with expectant fathers pacing about, excited and nervous. The copywriter works the phones, preparing for his baby’s introduction into the world. The art director steals outside to smoke cigarettes. The account executive keeps asking all of us if there’s anything she can do, God bless her. And the client wants to see his goddam commercial. Right. F—king. Now!
And then there’s me: the most nervous and the most proud papa of them all. For it was only a few weeks ago the idea to make this spot was consummated. Until then, the scheme was but a glimmer in our agency president’s eye. He planted the unlikely seed with our client and they fertilized it with enthusiasm. But it was I who told my business partners and clients that yes we can do this thing; that it will be born on time, in budget, and most of all it will be fabulous! And so it will be me who presents this creation to our client, they who footed the bill, trusting us, trusting me, now anxiously awaiting a glimpse of their progeny: the rough cut!
At no time is the cliché about ads being “our babies” more apt than in the making of a TV commercial. For me, crafting a print ad or some graphic design is more like art. More intimate. Less frantic. Waiting to see a piece of film, with living breathing characters, acting in a story, is as amazing as it is precarious. The stakes (emotionally and financially) are massive. Even in the Internet age the average broadcast commercial costs several hundred thousand dollars to produce. Ours was no exception.
And they liked it! God willing, so will you…