How to Break in and Make a Living as a Commercial Director

Hosted by Keith Rivers

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Keith Rivers

Webinar hosted by: Keith Rivers

Award-Winning Commercial Director - Clients include Amazon, Microsoft, McDonalds, Porsche and more

Keith Rivers is an award-winning commercial director who has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Unlimited Tomorrow, Porsche, McDonald’s, and Soundcloud to name a few. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns including Internet Explorer 9, where a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare begot him triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. Rivers also created the instantly viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which received 9 million views within the first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY award. Keith continues to direct large scale advertising campaigns for large and notable companies and his years of experience in this field has allowed him to become a bona fide expert in how to find success telling stories for brands and agencies. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is making a living doing what you love and telling stories in a visual medium. You may have great ideas, a knack for working with others, and an eye for cinematic beauty, but it can still be very hard to break in. One path you might not have considered yet to find work as a commercial director. Commercial directing can give you opportunities to put your skills to use, to create a product that people will be able to see, and to actually tell stories. And more so, this job will allow you to do this WHILE GETTING PAID –often very well. This does not mean the world of commercial directing is easy, and you’ll find that it’s also highly competitive and tight-knit, but understanding the marketplace and landscape can very well give you the ability to break through and find work doing what you love.

The industry of advertising is turning upside down right now; socially, culturally, and politically. Everyone is trying to grasp this ever-changing industry, but it’s important to remember that the more things change the more they stay the same. No matter what else is going on in the world, finding success and opportunities as a commercial director comes down to being personable to clients, communicative with your crew, knowing when to be firm or flexible in your creative approach, and understanding how to push your creative spirit out of its comfort zone. So how does the commercial filming industry actually work? What will make brands and agencies want to hire you to direct their project? And how can you apply your skills and your background to break into this lucrative field and even use it to find further opportunities in narrative film?

Keith Rivers is an award-winning commercial director who has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Unlimited Tomorrow, Porsche, McDonald’s, and Soundcloud to name a few. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns including Internet Explorer 9, where a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare begot him triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. Rivers also created the instantly viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which received 9 million views within the first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY award. Keith continues to direct large scale advertising campaigns for large and notable companies and his years of experience in this field has allowed him to become a bona fide expert in how to find success telling stories for brands and agencies.

Keith will break down what the landscape of commercial directing looks like and how you as a director can break in, stay in, and even use your success to transition to narrative film directing. He’ll break down what the life of a commercial director looks like, including how much you could expect to make and what the ecosystem is between production companies, agencies, and brands. Keith will also give you tips into how to find opportunities and break into commercial directing. He will teach you how to make yourself better and more hirable with tools like your reel and spec work, and will go through how to pitch well to get a commercial directing gig. Keith will next explain how to get the directing gig and do it right by doing your best work and aligning with creatives and will finally outline how to build your career and using your work as a stepping stone to long form narrative directing.

 

Keith will also provide a slew of examples and resources like storyboards, lists of production companies and agencies, example treatments and more that you'll be able to take with you afterwards.

What You'll Learn

  • How Does Commercial Directing Work?
    • What does the commercial production landscape and how do directors fit in?
    • Categories of commercial directing.
    • Production companies, agencies, brands, and how they work together
      • Including example lists
    • How much do commercial directors make?
    • About Keith and how he found his way in
  • Breaking Into Commercial Directing
    • Where to find opportunities
    • Networking the right way to get ahead
    • Stay in your lane. Or don’t.
    • Is the competition fierce? Yes... yes it is!
  • Make Yourself Better and More Hirable
    • How to refine your aesthetic
    • Spec work
      • With examples
    • Building your reel
  • How to Pitch
    • What is a triple bid?
    • How to develop a winning treatment.
      • With examples and templates
    • How to win and lose.
  • Getting the Gig and Doing it Right
    • The director/production company contract.
    • When do you say no?
    • Authenticity and finding your connection to the creative. How to consider your audience.
    • Pre-production and aligning to the creatives.
      • With storyboard examples.
  • Building your Career and Moving Forward
    • Developing, maintaining, and ending client relationships.
    • Setting up expectations
    • Leaving the project with a smile
      • Exit strategies
      • Director cuts.
    • Is commercial directing a stepping stone to long form narrative directing?
  • Q&A with Keith

 

About Your Instructor

Keith Rivers is an award-winning commercial director who has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Unlimited Tomorrow, Porsche, McDonald’s, and Soundcloud to name a few. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns including Internet Explorer 9, where a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare begot him triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. Rivers also created the instantly viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which received 9 million views within the first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY award. Keith continues to direct large scale advertising campaigns for large and notable companies and his years of experience in this field has allowed him to become a bona fide expert in how to find success telling stories for brands and agencies.

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