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!

Casting Call for San Diego Moms

Are you a FUN and UPBEAT mom who loves to save money? Would you like to participate in a shopping challenge that may be featured in a local commercial for a national retailer?

I’m looking for REAL MOMS (no actors) ages 28-45 in the SAN DIEGO AREA.

If interested, please submit the following information to mediamelanie@gmail.com with “CASTING” in the subject line:

  1. Name, age, kids/ages, city, occupation (or former occupation if unemployed), phone number and email address
  2. List the three stores you shop at most for groceries, household items, health & beauty, etc.
  3. Include a recent photo

If you fit the criteria, I will contact you to set-up a day/time to create a short casting video.

There will be multiple shoot dates throughout the year.

Please pass this along to your mom friends & family: https://www.facebook.com/notes/media-melanie/casting-call-for-san-diego-moms/10151385637207667

 

Image 

Who is Media Melanie?

Media Melanie is a freelance Media & Marketing Specialist based out of San Diego, CA.  Areas of expertise include:

  • TV & Film Production
  • Media Buying
  • Social Media
  • Ad Sales
  • Copywriting
  • Email Blasts
  • Promotions
  • Event Planning

Media Melanie has years of experience in a variety of professional settings that include an ad agency, a corporate marketing office and on-set at multiple TV and video shoots including TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”  Media Melanie is also a published freelance writer who contributed to multiple issues of Modern Fix Magazine. 

The most recent educational milestone for Media Melanie was in 2008 when she received a “Media Marketing Specialist” certificate from San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies; she also earned a BA in Communications (cum laude) in 2002. 

For a full professional profile please visit Linked In and also keep up with Media Melanie updates on Facebook and Twitter!