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today is just the first day
or so i've been told.
by lee anne ramsey

Today, I will schmooze 'til my cheeks hurt.

Today, I will get on the phone with reps from all the best production companies and try to convince them that the commercial the client approved is going to be really fun for their directors to direct.

Today, I am going to sell, sell, sell.

Today, I am going to hear a couple of these people, who call me more frequently than my mother, say "Foaming body wash? How much product demo are we talking here?"

Today, my creative team is going to say they want the guy who directed the Cat Herding spot to direct this spot. I will laugh and they will not understand why.

Today, I will call that rep and she will laugh at me in turn. Then she will send me reels from lesser known 22-year olds from the same production company. When I watch those reels, I will see crappy commercials much like the one I am going to make.

Today, my account team will come tell me that the client has cut the budget. Not only will I have to find some nice "up-and-comer" to direct this commercial that no one wants to direct, but I will have to find someone to do it for three dollars and fourteen cents.

Today, my creative director will bring me into his office and tell me that the creative team on this project is very junior level, and that I will have to secretly review all decisions with him.

Today, my creative team will tell me over lunch that the creative director is a hack and they want to produce this spot with as little involvement from him as possible. I will have to figure out a way to review decisions with the creative director while hiding that fact from the creative team and still protecting whatever shred of integrity this spot has left.

Today, the assistant producer I did not hire will not have completed the tasks I requested of him last week. And I will not have the power to get rid of him and hire someone who actually ASSISTS me.

Today, when I ask the office manager why my viewing deck and TV have still not been set up after her movers disconnected them FOR NO APPARENT REASON two months ago, she will tell me that I should just set it up myself. Then she will scoff at me because despite my vast knowledge of broadcast production, I do not know how to set up a television set and multiple VCR units.

Today, I will continue to carry stacks of videotapes upstairs to the viewing room instead of watching them in the office right next door.

Today, the senior creative team who sold the coolest set of scripts/boards to come out of this agency since I've worked here will go to the creative director and tell him they want a more senior person to produce their campaign. "We like a lot, and she's a hard worker... but she just doesn't have the experience we think we need to do these spots correctly." This, despite my already going to bat with the entire account team to get an increased budget and a more reasonable timeline while developing a level of trust with our clueless client.

Today, I will hire a freelance producer and pay them a day rate equal to what I make every two weeks. And that freelancer will take calls from all the eager reps and production companies who are shooting down my foaming body wash spot. And they will have enough money and time to shoot their campaign correctly because I will have handed it to them on a platter.

Today I will spend roughly 2 minutes of every hour reminding myself that, in fact, I have a very cool job. At least I can wear whatever I want to work under the guise of "creative outlet." At least I get to travel to cool locations, stay at chi-chi hotels, eat at expensive restaurants and expense the entire trip. I can come and go as I please as long as I get my work completed. I don't have to sit in the office all day. All I need to work is a cell phone and a laptop. When I watch TV with my friends, I can say, "that's one of mine" every once in a while. I get to tell people what to do, even if they rarely listen to me.

Today is a day like any other day in the life of an agency producer.


Lee Anne is a frustrated "contributing writer" to the Tufts Daily who has never gotten over getting dissed for a column. As a result, she feels the need to write long, somewhat amusing emails to friends and occassionally submit articles to small publications. During the day, she contributes to "what's wrong with this country" by producing television and radio commericals that make you think you are fat, skinny, hip, unhip, old, young, smart, stupid, grown-up, or just a kid again - depending on which products you buy. Her parents are real proud.

more about lee anne ramsey


lee anne ramsey
1.9.01 @ 7:18p

Follow up: in case anyone was wondering, I spent at least two full days last week arranging travel for the shoot and locating an appropriately chic hotel in LA that has a pool for my Account Supervisor (even thought it is January), quiet rooms for the insomniac creative director, a trendy bar where my creative team can pick up on starlettes, the probability of seeing famous people (so my client can have a story for his friends back in Buffalo), and a nightly rate that fits my budget.

jason siciliano
7.27.01 @ 6:37p

Painful. Ouch. Pain. Can't read anymore, can't...truth, killing me...make it stop...arrrrgh. If you haven't already, check out The Reel Truth 1 and 2 by Tim Hamilton at zoomazooma.com. He did the Truth In Advertising films.

eloise young
6.18.02 @ 12:27a

Wonderful. Just wonderful. Just found this spot. So OK, I'm kinda late out of the starting blocks. But this is a gripping tale and I was hanging in there to find out what else happened. I hope this isn't a typical day for you? It does sound rather busy.

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