Monday, December 24, 2012

Your packages need to be like my Christmas Eve dinner

The Christmas Eve dinner is the event of the year for old Italians. It's known as the "Feast of the Seven Fishes" and features seven different kinds of seafood. It is my favorite dinner, trumping Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You can go to a seafood buffet, but there are a lot of things that make the Christmas Eve feast unique. It's the bells and whistles. The decorated tree and Christmas music in the background. My hilarious aunts arguing over whether the fictional doctors on ER are better than the ones on Chicago Hope. The parade of desserts after dinner when you sit down to watch a Christmas movie. Everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve. It's those little bells and whistles that make this night more than just a seafood buffet.

I know at this point you're waiting for the television analogy, so here goes. Are there bells and whistles in your work? Is your package just a bunch of sound bites and voice track, or have you added the flavor provided by nat sound, music, graphics, clever writing, a solid anchor intro? Is your resume tape montage a bunch of similar standups, or have you varied your locations, styles, and types of stories?

I can buy you a Christmas gift and put it in a brown paper bag. Or I can find a nice box, glittery wrapping paper, a pretty bow and a cute tag. If you see both under the tree, which one do you pick?

Television, like life, is all about bells and whistles. Make everything you do interesting, but add some spice. Be different, be daring, try new things.

Think about it... we call a television story a "package" for good reason. Wrap it up in an attractive way that makes the viewer excited and want to open it first like the prettiest Christmas gift under the tree.


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