Learn how to break into the business and find your voice as a commercial director.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

NOTE: This Class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform.
Class will meet 10:30a.m. – 4:30p.m. (EDT) and will break one hour for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

Limited scholarship opportunities may be available under the BILL LINSMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND.  Details and application form may be found here.

Award-winning director Jon Weiman (Infiniti, Samsung, McDonald’s, Facebook, Google) will offer a real-world view of the art and business of commercials. The workshop will explore how to find one’s voice as a commercial director, practical steps to break into the business, win pitches, and how to navigate the delicate balance between art and commerce.

Get an in-depth look at the entire commercial-making process from treatment to post-production. This insider view will include real world examples of pitch decks, conference calls, casting tapes, production books, and guest speakers from different sides of the industry. Along the way, you’ll get advice on how to forge a career path.

Participants will get an overview of top production companies, learn how to work with clients and ad agencies, and examine the dynamics of a typical production. An in-depth view of the pitch process will include learning how to prep for a briefing call with an advertising agency, and how to come up with ideas and sample questions. You’ll listen to a real conference call with a client and experience case studies with major brands. Explore how to develop a treatment, find tone, describe visual style and characters, and let the client and agency know that you’re on the same page.

We’ll examine what a client looks for in a director, budgeting, bidding, putting together a crew, how to build relationships with agents, casting, selecting a casting director, running a casting session, callbacks, directing actors, working on-set with the client/agency, working with children, improvisation techniques, and what to do in a time crunch. Along with screening and analyzing influential commercials, our examination of how to achieve the look will include how to choose a Production Designer and a Director of Photography, the dynamics of collaborating on vision and tone, creating a look-book, storyboarding, using shots to convey key storytelling beats, lighting and camera movement, and how to take the client/agency through your boards.

You’ll learn how to communicate with a Location Scout, work with an Assistant Director, manage a crew Tech Scout, use storyboards to communicate with crew, work with producers to find efficiencies, use time wisely on shoot day, and solve production problems.

Exercises will include writing a short two-page treatment, and planning and shooting a commercial about an everyday item around your house, using a smartphone, DSLR or video camera.

Leave the week with an understanding of how to navigate this extraordinary industry.

This workshop may be taken on its own or as part of the 2020 Four Week Directing Intensive

Image Credit: Owen Weaver

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Instructor: Jon Weiman

Jon Weiman is half of the Los Angeles-based directing duo Jon+Torey. Jon and his partner have made commercials for brands such as Infiniti (featuring Steph Curry) , Facebook, Samsung, McDonald’s, Hyundai, Acura and Google. Over the years, their work has won multiple Gold Lions at Cannes, one show Pencils and Clio Awards. Their most recent commercial for Tim Horton’s “The Autograph” was Ad of the Week in AdWeek and featured in AdCritic and Clio Magazine. They are represented by Furlined which is in the 2020 Production Company A-List. As a child of therapists, Jon’s work seeks to find humanity in unexpected places while working with a strong team of talented collaborators. Originally from Toronto, Jon graduated Queen’s University with a degree in Film Studies and, prior to his career in commercials, made a documentary about youth in post-genocide Rwanda.