#GramTHELOVE❤️️

I don’t know about your thoughts on the matter, but my social media feeds have been kind of depressing lately. It seems like there’s no escape from the negativity and opinions surrounding the volatile political climate that’s dividing our nation and the world. While I could sit here all day and go on about the issues that I’m passionate about and share my political views, I’m not going to. That’s not to say they aren’t important or valid, but for me it’s time to shift gears because I just can’t take it anymore!

SO I’m choosing to use my social media platform to share some LOVE leading up to Valentine’s Day and I hope you’ll join me! The idea is very simple. Take a picture that conveys or invokes a feeling of LOVE, and ‘gram it between now and Valentine’s Day.  Tag the photo with #GramTHELOVE❤️️, maybe write a short caption that tells the story of your image, and let’s hope the trend catches on! I still believe that love trumps hate in the end…

Head on over to my Media Melanie Instagram to see my LOVING posts leading up to Valentine’s Day! Who knows, maybe I’ll even give one lucky ‘grammer a special prize…

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Production Crewing in San Diego

I love what I do. There is definitely truth to Confucius’ saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to see my name in “the words” as I used to call them before I knew they were actually called credits.

My wish finally came true. After spending a few years as Production Manager for a San Diego ad agency, I earned my first two official TV show credits on ESPN’s Homecoming with Rick Reilly featuring Tony Hawk, and from 4 episodes of What Not to Wear, TLC’s longest running primetime series and one of the longest running makeover shows in television history.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of "What Not to Wear." The show's final episode airs in October 2013.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of “What Not to Wear.” The show’s final episode airs in October 2013.

Since then, I’ve started my own Social Media & Web Marketing business and have worked as a freelancer on a number of TV commercials, promos, web videos, a documentary, and am currently part of an Effie Award-Winning campaign as the Field Producer (and Casting) for Walmart’s TV commercials in San Diego (The Effies are the advertising equivalent of the Oscars to motion pictures). Click here to watch one of the compilation videos on Walmart’s YouTube channel.

Click on the photo to watch these compilation videos on Walmart's YouTube channel.

Earlier this summer, the San Diego Film Commission closed its doors. While I am by no means equipped to offer anywhere near the scope of services that the 38-year old organization (who will be dearly missed) did, I can still alleviate some of the burden on productions coming to shoot in San Diego. When you hire Media Melanie to crew a production, you’re getting the piece of mind that comes with the knowledge of an experienced producer with extensive local contacts for equipment rentals, crew services, casting, and more.

I’ve worn many hats in the production arena:

  • Media Traffic Coordinator
  • Production Assistant (PA)
  • Wardrobe Assistant
  • Office PA
  • Production Coordinator
  • Production Manager
  • Casting Producer
  • Field Producer
  • Producer

One of the things that all of these roles have in common is knowing who to call for what. Need a jib? I’ve got you covered! What about a camera package? Exceptional DP? Editor? Hair & Make-up Artist? Wardrobe? Eager PAs? Craft Services? You name it, I will make it happen.

Interested in learning more? Contact me today!

Shopping for Flooring in a Sequin Dress

While watching daytime TV today waiting to see the commercial I just produced, I couldn’t help but notice what the talent was wearing on a local business’ ad. If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see a handful of young people adorned in some very interesting outfits. It made me wonder who was behind the choice of wardrobe. If I had to guess, I’d say the client.

A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial.

Shopping for flooring in a sequin dress.

Wardrobe Matters

I’ve worked in the TV production industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve had quite a bit of experience with wardrobe. When I worked as Production Manager at a San Diego ad agency, one of my duties was purchasing wardrobe for talent. A couple of years later, I was a freelance Wardrobe Assistant on a McDonald’s commercial, and have since dealt with wardrobe on various spots I’ve produced. While I may not be the most stylish person in my own wardrobe choices, I know what looks good on camera. The strapless striped dress, sequin dress, formal dress with a big pink bow, and the other outfits pictured above are the opposite of what I would have chosen. I wonder if other people watching the same ad had a similar reaction, because my first and immediate thought when the commercial came on TV was, “Seriously? They are really wearing that?”

Image vs. Authenticity

When making a TV commercial, it’s important to tell an authentic story while also maintaining the right image, whether that image is classy, casual, family oriented, value driven, or whatever. I have a few theories as to why the business chose the talent and wardrobe they did for this particular commercial.

Perhaps they wanted to reach a high-end demographic. If that was the case, they should have used older talent who potential customers can relate to, and then in turn dressed them in clothing that they would actually wear when shopping for flooring (MAYBE a notch above that). That being said, they should also consider a different media buy because this commercial aired during a pretty trashy daytime talk show that I wouldn’t normally watch.

Maybe the business wanted to showcase family in the commercial to promote family values. I get that! But putting them in clothing more appropriate in church or at a school dance doesn’t really make sense. Dressing up is always fun and it has its place, but not in this particular TV commercial.

A Keen Eye

This commercial wasn’t very high-budget, so there was probably no wardrobe supervisor or stylist to purchase wardrobe options ahead of time. I’m wondering who gave the talent wardrobe guidelines (my guess is the client) and who was responsible for letting them go on camera this way (ultimately everyone on set). I would think that the hair and make-up person would have said something to someone, or at least the Director and/or Producer could have suggested a quick trip home to change clothes or to Target to buy some casual options. Or perhaps everybody thought it was just fine, which is the most alarming scenario.

When I work on a commercial, I always ask the talent to bring options with them. It never hurts. Or, on higher-budget jobs, there’s a wardrobe person or stylist who is responsible for purchasing plenty of appropriate options. Either way, there should always be at least one set of eyes on every little detail, ESPECIALLY wardrobe, before saying ACTION! A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial. There is a way to find compromise with what the client wants and what will produce a quality finished product. It’s all about how you say it!

Speaking of wardrobe picks, there’s the whole “Wardrobe Malfunction” category with TV in general…YIKES! I’m not even going there…but you can read about it here. Have you noticed any commercials with a ridiculous choice of wardrobe? Or am I the only one paying attention to things like this? Tell me!

Need professional video production services for your business, please contact Media Melanie today!

San Diego Summer Dog Events 2011

It’s an action-packed summer for San Diego dog enthusiasts!  Here’s a quick run-down of upcoming dog-friendly events in San Diego.  I hope to see you there!

Dog Days of Summer at PETCO Park 

July 27th – Join the Padres and Guinness World Records for the annual Dog Days of Summer at PETCO Park as they try to certify a record for the most dogs at a professional sporting event.  The application period is now closed, but for those who will be attending with their pooch, PETCO provided complimentary tickets to the Padres Vs. Diamondbacks 7:05 pm game which will feature a doggie parade and many vendors.  It’s sure to be a barking good time!

Doggie Street Festival 

July 31st – The 3rd annual Doggie Festival is the largest adoption focused festival in Southern California.  All friendly dogs are welcome (on-leash) to bring their owners and participate in the free fun to include entertainment, good eats, valuable pet information, products, services, speakers, music, special guests and more.  The event will be held at Hilton San Diego Bayfront Park from 9 am to 4 pm.  To learn more visit:  http://www.doggiestreetfestival.org/.

Bark for Life San Diego

August 27th – The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. I LOVE this event and cause!  By supporting Bark For Life, you help the American Cancer Society save lives, and that helps us move closer to our ultimate goal of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.  So bring your best canine friend and join us for a fun-filled day starting with a walk, and then continuing with demonstrations, contests, and games.  For more information visit:  www.relayforlife.org/barksandiegoca

And don’t forget…if you’re thinking of adding a furry family member to your home, visit one of the many San Diego dog adoption organizations: