The last ditch.

The pre-pro meeting before shooting a commercial is sometimes considered a mundane rite.   Time to flip through the book and pray the client doesn’t ask any pesky questions.  Actually, it’s the most crucial moment of the shoot, your last ditch to head off trouble.   The truth is, your plan should already be in hand, long before the client is present.  But the pre-pro is the last chance to argue and air out all potential disagreements or misunderstandings about locations, wardrobe, casting and so forth.  Focus and let it fly right now if you must.

On shoot day, you should be shooting, not standing around arguing over which pair of shoes look best.  Do it in the pre-pro.  Argue at the pre-pro.  Demand more and different and better at the pre-pro, if you must.  Shoot at the shoot, until the camera breaks or the sun goes down.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.