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Terry Berlandby Casting Director, Terry Berland

Happy Holidays. Since we are wrapping up a year, I thought it would be a good idea to wrap up the booking selection process, meet the creative team and find out what part they play in your booking commercial work. It takes at least eight people to decide who gets the job. Here’s who they are:

The producer is responsible for putting together and keeping together all the elements that make up the production of a commercial. These elements include budgeting, selecting the director, coordinating the decisions of all the people involved, and making sure the production is on schedule, including editing of the final spot.

The art director is the person who visually conceives the spot and makes it come alive through drawings and visuals. In short, he or she is responsible for the way the commercial will look. The art director works very closely with (or is part of the team with) the writer.

The writer puts the message of the commercial into words. The writer and art director have to be in total alignment as to the message they want to get across.

The creative supervisor oversees the activities of the art director, writer, and producer.

The creative director is responsible for the work of all creatives in the advertising agency, and thus sets the tone for the entire agency. (Various agencies are known to be “on the cutting edge,” “hip,” conservatives, etc.)

The director, of course, directs the spot. The director is hired for his creative input—his ability to enhance the spot. Many times, towards the end of the creative selection process, the team will turn to the director and ask, “Who do you think would work in the spot better?”.

The account executive from the advertising agency serve as the liaison between the client and the agency. It is their ongoing responsibility to talk directly to the client. Their agreement that the client will probably “buy” the actor at the preproduction meeting is essential.

The client(s) are the executives who represent the product being advertised. All selections of talent are presented to them at a preproduction meeting and they have final approval.

The selections are presented to the client at a pre-production meeting where the whole team is present. Everyone hopes the client will smile and say “yes.” If you are fans of the TV show Madmen, even though things have modernized from that era, the root of the process has not changed and you can actually see it being played out.

I wish you many avails and bookings.


Any reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director and linked back to here.

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Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voice-over, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”