CAMPAIGN REPORT ON PRODUCTION/POST-PRODUCTION: The producers websites - Ad agency TV producer Michael Parker reviews five of the leading websites that are targeting the UK’s commercials production community

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.

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

review.



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.





WWW.XNC.CO.UK



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

filmography.



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.




WWW.MISX.COM



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.





WWW.RHUBARB.CO.UK



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

picture.



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.





WWW.PLANETPOINT.COM



This site is designed to be a tool for people needing an advertising

service - be it film, print, marketing services or corporate

communications.



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

place.





WWW.PRODUCTIONDEPARTMENT.COM



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

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