WOMEN OF COLOR
COMMERCIAL DIRECTING PROGRAM
Agencies and brands have long been eager to hire women of color, however, without proof of their directorial abilities, these women often have the odds stacked against them. In an effort to amplify diverse female voices in advertising, Paxeros is launching our inaugural Women of Color Commercial Directing Program. Through this program, one female director of color will have her spec script funded and produced while receiving one-on-one directorial mentorship. Although this opportunity is our small effort to combat a much larger problem, we hope that this year's Women of Color Commercial Directing Program is the first of many and will inspire other organizations to take actionable steps in creating commercial directing opportunities for women of color.
The Spec Commercial
When brainstorming a company to make a spec for, we knew we wanted a brand that was dedicated to equality and love. Our sales rep also informed us that car companies are eager to hire female directors, however, the lack of women with car commercial experience has prevented them from getting hired. With those two things in mind, we decided that Subaru would be the perfect company to produce a spec for because it is a car company that is dedicated to equality and love. The Subaru Love Promise states, "Subaru and its retailers believe in making the world a better place and the Subaru Love Promise is our vision of respecting all people. This is our promise to show love and respect to our customers and to work to make a positive impact in the world."
The Prompt & Application
We are asking applicants to submit a 60-second Subaru Spec Script with a Pitch Deck that answers the following prompt: “How is ‘Love’ what makes Subaru, a Subaru?” Subaru launched its Love Campaign in 2008 and this prompt is a direct reference to their tagline. We are looking for “love stories” but not necessarily in the traditional sense. The Subaru Love Promise might be a great statement to reflect on for further inspiration! The spec must be no longer than 60 seconds, with the ability to trim it down to 30 seconds. All applicants will be considered solely based on their Subaru Spec Commercial script and pitch deck with zero past work required. See selection criteria for more information on how applicants will be judged. There is no cost or tuition to participate in this program. Applications will be open from June 23rd, 2020 through July 31st, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST (New Deadline).
The Initiative & Program
Through this program, one female director of color will have her spec script funded and produced in addition to receiving one-on-one directorial mentorship from a variety of industry professionals. Over the course of 2-3 months, the awarded director will receive script feedback, creative guidance, and pre-production, production, and post-production support in bringing their Subaru spec commercial to life. There will be mock client and agency feedback both on and off set to help the directing fellow gain experience with managing client and agency relationships and expectations. Pre-production and post-production will be done remotely (unless the director lives in Los Angeles), however, the spec commercial shoot will take place in the Southern California region. If the director does not live in Southern California, Paxeros will fly them out and put them up in a nearby hotel for the commercial shoot dates.
Who can apply?
Applicants must be women of color over the age of 21 years old, who are living in the United States and plan to stay in the U.S. for next year. We are looking for applicants who are not just “curious” about directing but are PASSIONATE about specifically commercial directing. We are open to first-time directors, as well as those with some previous directing experience. Writer-directors are welcome to apply, as are directing teams, who may submit a single application. Applicants must be available for a video call interview between August 10th - 16th, 2020 and must be available in August/September to travel out to Los Angeles for the week of the shoot, as well as, attend weekly virtual meetings and phone calls. Applicants cannot already have representation or be on a production company roster.
How to apply?
Applicants must submit the following materials in PDF format for consideration:
A 60-second Subaru Spec Script
Script must address the prompt: “How is ‘Love’ what makes Subaru, a Subaru?”
A Pitch Deck with the following Slides:
A Director's Statement addressing your interest in the program and what you hope to gain through this initiative
Artistic Statement describing your vision for your commercial
Story / Theme / Tone
Visual Aesthetic with references
Edit and Pacing
Music & Sound Design
Characters & Casting References
Fill out our Google Form Application here!
Paxeros is looking for women of color who are serious about developing their directorial career in the commercial and advertising industry. These women are storytellers at heart who have unique, compelling, and original voices and who demonstrate a clear vision. Scripts and Pitch Decks will be judged by the following criteria: Story, Creativity, Originality, Appropriateness to Theme, Clarity of Expression, Commercial Appeal, Memorability, Visual Appeal, and Impact.
Submissions Open: June 23rd, 2020
Submission Deadline: July 31st, 2020
Semi-Finalists Announced: August 10th, 2020
Interviews: August 10th - 16th, 2020
Finalist Reviewed by Industry Judging Panel: August 17th - 21st, 2020
Top Ten Finalists Announced: August 21st, 2020
Winner Announced: August 31st, 2020
Filming: TBD (based on COVID Restrictions)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When do applications open and close?
A: Applications will be open from June 23rd, 2020 through July 31st, 2020.
Q: Do I need to have professional directing experience to apply?
A: No. We are specifically crafting this program to erase as many barriers and obstacles for women of color to gain opportunities in the advertising industry. However, it is important that the applicant is extremely serious about being a commercial director. This opportunity is not designed for someone “trying something new”. We are expecting that applying directors have educated themselves through free commercial directing resources online at the bare minimum.
Q: What is a pitch deck?
A: The Pitch Deck is a visual presentation of the director’s pitch or vision for the commercial. It uses photos and text to help the client (or in this situation, the judges) understand how you, as the director, will bring the commercial to life. An effective Pitch Deck introduces your project in a visually exciting and memorable way. It captures the reader’s imagination, allowing them to see and feel the story and embrace the characters. You’re giving your reader a comprehensive understanding of the fantastic potential of your project. Here is an example of what a pitch deck should look like. With a Gmail account, you can use Google Slides to build your pitch deck for free. Unsplash.com is a great place to source free and un-watermarked photos. iSpot.tv and shots.net are both great websites to search for other commercial references, as well as, searching YouTube for past Subaru commercials - but inspiration shouldn’t stop there. Feel free to tap into movies, music videos, or any other form of content that might be a good reference.
Q: How are the applications judged?
A: Applications are judged in three rounds:
Round 1 – Our internal team will go through the submitted applications and pick 25 semi-finalists.
Round 2 – Semi-finalists will participate in recorded Zoom video chats to help answer any additional questions regarding their vision or materials and Finalists will be chosen.
Round 3 – Finalists and their materials (Pitch Deck, Script, Zoom Interview) will be presented to a judging panel of industry leaders who will make final determinations on the winning director. Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria: Story, Creativity, Originality, Appropriateness to Theme, Clarity of Expression, Commercial Appeal, Memorability, Visual Appeal, and Impact.
Q: Do I need to be DGA to apply?
A: No. This is not a form of employment. It is a program designed to offer opportunities, guidance, and mentorship. In fact, you most likely should NOT be a DGA member for this program is meant to provide an opportunity for those who are just starting out their commercial directing career.
Q: Do you accept submissions from co-directors and/or directing teams?
A: Yes. Although both directors should be included in one application. Please be sure to clarify what each director brings to the table in the co-director collaboration. Both directors should be women of color.
Q: Does the commercial need to be of a specific style or genre?
A: Besides animation, any style or genre of commercial is welcome, as long as your story addresses the prompt.
Q: Will you confirm receipt of my application?
A: Yes, you will receive an automated submission confirmation from Google Forms once your application is submitted.
Q: Can I submit more than one application?
A: Yes, you may submit up to 3 applications as long as each script is a different story and the commercials are distinctly different from each other.
Q: May I deliver my application in person?
A: No. All applications must be submitted via the Google Form Application.
Q: Will I receive feedback on my submission?
A: No. Due to the high volume of submissions we are expecting, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback.
Q: How many Directors will be selected for the Program?
A: There will only be 1 director (or co-directing team) chosen for this year’s program.
Q: Will I be paid to participate in the Program?
A: No. This is not a form of employment. It is a program designed to offer opportunities, guidance, and mentorship.
Q: May I maintain other forms of employment while participating in the Program?
A: Yes, but you must commit to attend and engage fully in all activities, workshops and events provided by the program.
Q: What is the duration of the Program?
A: The program lasts approximately 2-3 months in total, however, this is not a full-time commitment.
Q: Will participation in the Program guarantee me a job?
A: No. We cannot guarantee any kind of job or employment after the completion of the Program.
Q: Will participation in the workshop guarantee that I will be signed at a commercial production company?
A: No. Although we cannot guarantee that participation in the program will correspond to you signing at a production company, we hope that your participation in the workshop will support your career efforts and the possibility of being signed.
Q: Will participation in the Program gain me membership into the DGA?
A: No. Participation in the program will not correspond to DGA membership. However, details for joining the DGA can be found at their website: www.dga.org
Q: Is there an application fee?
A: No, there is no application fee. It is absolutely FREE to apply to the program.
Q: Why is the spec commercial for Subaru?
A: As an ethos-driven production company we try to be very intentional with the content we create, making sure it’s promoting brands that we believe in, companies that are doing their part to make the world a better place, and who treat their employees and customers with respect. As the production company that will produce and finance this project, we want to make sure that it aligns with our mission to create positive content with good people.
Q: Who is this program intended for?
A: This program is for women of color who are very interested in directing commercials, but have yet to have any serious opportunities to further their directing career. We want this program to add more diverse voices into the advertising industry, therefore we’re looking for women who need the support to get a spec commercial under their belt.
Q: Can trans women of color apply?
A: Yes. 100%. Absolutely!
Q: Will this be the only time you run this program?
A: Hopefully not! Depending on how this first program goes, we would love to make this an annual initiative. However, at this time we can’t commit to anything concrete for future years.
Q: Should I be limiting the scope of my commercial so that it’s “doable” or “more affordable”?
A: No. We say shoot for the moon with your concept, but keep it aligned with Subaru’s aesthetic. If the idea and story is great and you are chosen, we will work with you to make it “doable”.
Q: What is the budget going to be for this commercial?
A: This will completely depend on the winning concept. Regardless, Paxeros will be financing this commercial in full with the in-kind help from our sponsors and partners.
Q: Who will own the commercial when it’s complete?
A: Paxeros will “own” the commercial as the production company and financier of the project. Director will be able to post the final commercial for promotional use.
Q: What happens if Subaru (or someone else) wants to buy or license this commercial (or any of the footage) after it’s completed?
A: We will negotiate with Subaru, their agency, or any interested buyer in good faith for an industry-standard licensing fee. The Director will be entitled to 20% of the net profits from the commercial.
Q: Are there other programs similar to your program (WCCDP)?
A: Yes! We are happy to support other programs and opportunities similar to ours. If you would like more information regarding the CDDP - The Commercial Directors Diversity Program, which is a more expansive program, similar to what we are offering. Please visit their website here www.cddprogram.org
Q: What if I have a question that was not answered above?
A: Please email email@example.com with any additional questions.
Thank you for your interest in Paxeros' inaugural Women of Color Commercial Directing PrograM!