By MICHAEL PARKER, a senior TV producer at, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 June 2000 12:00AM
Increasingly the internet is providing the access to information
that previously we had to get from a variety of other sources. Every
agency producer’s desk is heavy with directors’ reels and voice tapes as
well as all the bits and bobs we receive in the post and put aside for
future reading. But we can have it all at our fingertips sooner than we
think, if we can only ask the right questions.
I found something valuable in all the sites that I was given to
Perhaps that’s because I’m still at that stage in my technical education
where computers are fun and exciting. Being able to have a vast amount
of information at my fingertips is great - when it works.
This site should be fairly familiar to most producers from the monthly
reel of commercials by the same name, but its website is the one I use
the most these days. You can remind yourself about commercials on the
reel and each entry has credits and a short storyboard. But the real fun
is the cross-referencing facility. If you want to know which director
has done what, just click on their name and you’ll get a
Likewise, if you want to know what else that director of photography
shot, just click. Even if you want to know what a specific facilities
company has done, just click.
Unfortunately, this facility only goes back a couple of years but still
it’s very good. And soon we should be able to just click and watch it
all too. The site’s ’directors’ gallery’ will be brilliant when even
more directors get their reels up and it becomes as comprehensive a
resource as the reel. There are also some very interesting ads by
international directors posted at the moment.
This site aims to be a worldwide news and information centre for the
commercials industry with an extensive search capacity and it’s British,
so it should actually be useful to me. I found the information aspect of
the site was extensive, very interesting and well focused. But when I
tried the search engine, I found it confusing. I’m obviously not asking
the right questions. I’m sure that there are many reels that I would be
interested to watch, but it was such a pain to navigate the site that
I’d rather go somewhere else.
This site, however, does have the potential to be really valuable by
providing me with access to worldwide information and showreels.
Misx.com also provides a meeting room for discussions about industry
issues and has a jobs section.
This is a great site. It’s an online voiceover agency and all the voices
have their own page with audio clips and a full biography and
If Rhubarb has the voice for you, finding it is fun and easy. This has
to be the future for voice agencies so that we can forget about all
those CDs that somehow always seem to get used as coasters just before
you need to listen to them. The search facility can help you to
formulate a specific brief before providing you with a shortlist of
links to click on. The site is very user-friendly and if you’re looking
for an after-dinner speaker, you might find one of those as well.
This site is designed to be a tool for people needing an advertising
service - be it film, print, marketing services or corporate
In other words, all things to all people. Actually, from an agency
producer’s point of view, it was one of the quickest and best sites to
watch video clips of commercials on. It’s well laid out and the download
times were some of the fastest I’ve experienced. For the few British
directors included, it was interesting to look at what they have on
their reels in the US compared with what they have done here.
The site seemed to have quite an extensive range of information for the
American director. Unfortunately, its US focus means it is of limited
use to most of the UK market but, if you’re shooting in the US, it seems
a good resource and is getting better all the time. Creatives might find
the site useful for keeping abreast of US TV and print ads in one
Here’s another resource for the US commercials industry which bills
itself as a full-service agency production department. In addition, it
provides a consultation service and web-based production service. For
these services you have to contact it in New York for further
information, which I didn’t do. But the site has an extensive search
facility which I found very informative, as I now know who directed
every Nike ad imaginable and who represents them. Another useful aspect
of the site was the links page that provided access to American industry
organisations, trade publications, production companies and directors.
This site doesn’t offer video clips of spots at the moment, but the
scale of its database should make sure that it has a place on the
favourites lists of producers.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk