Best Practices

Best Practices Blog image

We recommend the following guidelines to help you be as successful as you can be on the Spexster platform:  
 

BRANDED specs:  (The Classic Spec) Upload a spec ad you’ve created that targets a specific brand or product with logos, product shots, titles etc… i.e. Nike, Snickers, Geico.  *Note that when you upload, you should classify the submission as “Branded Content” so that the specific brand you are uploading for can more easily find and view your work.

NON-BRANDED specs:  (The Open-Ended Spec) Cut out the logos, product shots, or any blatant branding of your specs and keep the branding open-ended so that potentially thousands of buyers could purchase and incorporate their own branding with ease.  Adaptable specs give you the best chance to sell your work because ANY brand in the world could find a way to use it.  Not sure how to shoot an open-ended spec?  Focus NOT on products or branding; DO focus on telling a story.  Does your spec portray a unique anecdote about a person… does it have a hilarious punchline… or show an inspiring achievement?

Expect Revisions!  Buyers who want to buy your work inevitably will want some form of their own branding incorporated into the spec.  Keep your original footage and edits handy to make changes.  Let buyers know up front when listing your Specs what you can and can’t do to limit the back and forth and streamline the process for all parties involved.

Shooting New Specs:  When you’ve gotten familiar with the Spexster platform, and more importantly how the “open-ended” spec works, think about your next spec shoot, and how you might film it differently this time around… are you only filming for one brand/product,  or many?  Make it easier for buyers to more clearly see how they could incorporate their branding into your spec… maybe you create a themed generic montage that any tech company could utilize as a manifesto… maybe it’s a title sequence in your video that spells out “You're Brand Here”… or maybe even you’re a VFX wizard and you could show your skills with a product shot demo where you swap out the featured product, for a different one.  Use your imagination to find what works best for you to help buyers choose your spec!

THINK CAMPAIGN  - Great ideas, memorable characters, or a slick gimmick are a fantastic way to keep selling over and over again.  When filming, think how you can maximize your shoot even more by being able to create a whole campaign of videos for potential buyers to get excited about.  Can you turn one great idea into multiple ads?  Some buyers might want to buy in bulk!

TRENDS / DIVERSITY / TARGET MARKETS  - YOUR new and out of the box ideas are what the world needs, and we highly encourage you to use your full creativity when creating new Specs.  However, pay attention to what you do see on current TV/Web ads… what are the marketing trends, culture trends, etc.  What seems to be working and getting bought?  Put on your marketing hat when shooting to give yourself even more of an edge when presenting your work to buyers.  Know who your potential buyers are going to be.

Spec Lengths:  Timing is everything!  The most commonly used lengths for ads are the following: :120, :90, :60, :30, :15 & :06.  :30 & :15 lengths however, rule the air-waves; whether it be TV, Web, or Social Media.  Attention spans are shrinking so make sure your ad is not only neatly available at a shorter cutdown a client may need, but also make sure to grab their attention in the first 3 seconds of your spec to keep their attention!

Quality:  A great idea can be easily derailed by low-quality footage, poor lighting and shoddy equipment.  Not everyone can afford great cameras or equipment, but try and do the best with what you have.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Spexster community for great advice, recommendations, or to even partner up for your next project! 

Uploading Formats:  *Video requirements: 1920x1080P 16x9 or as requested eg. HD720p 1x1 Acceptable file formats are .mov, .avi, .mp4, .wmv. Acceptable codecs are H.264 (MP4), MPEG-4, H.263, MPGV, WMV, DivX. ProRes, Animation, or Uncompressed Codec.

Legal:  Make sure you own the footage of your specs, and can provide the proper legal sign-offs for unique locations, talent, artwork and music.  Buyers have to be able to use every part of your spec legally.  Make sure up front you cover your bases before uploading your videos to the platform.  If a buyer is ready to purchase your video, be ready to provide any relevant releases or info for talent, locations and music licensing used in your spec upon request.  You don’t want anything preventing your sale!  Still unclear about certain aspects?  Check out our full Terms and Conditions section.

Buyouts:

1.  Buyouts are typically priced higher since the Buyer will be able to use your video whenever, however, and as long as they like, so price accordingly!  All purchased footage must be removed from a Creators portfolio and can not be resold.

2.  Buyouts will get you the most money up front.  This will result in WAY less headaches when it comes to enforcing usage terms.

3.  Buyouts of Hard-Drives are also common practice in the industry.  Some clients may opt NOT to buy a particular edit / spec you have packaged together; but instead inquire to purchase ALL of your footage from a particular shoot.  It's good to keep all your footage from any shoot on hand and organized if a client wants it.  You can price accordingly for this in your "Revision Capabilities" section when you list your specs as well as explain the formats it is available in to mail or transfer.

SPEC REQUESTS FROM CLIENTS:  Businesses, Creative Agencies, and Brands alike have the ability to post “Spec Requests” on Spexster.  These are potential job opportunities for you the Creator to directly submit your Spec videos to that are actively listed in your portfolio.  This is a great opportunity to uniquely target the buyer based on the brief that they post.  Here is a fantastic opportunity to do two things…

1.  Read thru a Spec Request posting from a potential client and see what they are looking for; is one of your specs perfect for what they are trying to achieve?  You can easily and instantly submit your spec to the posting with a brief note about your creative thoughts on how this particular buyer could best utilize your work.

2.  Each Spec Request posting allows Advertisers to upload their unique assets.  If you want to be ambitious, you can take one of your pre-made specs and incorporate those assets into your spec submission.  You could even go do some pickup shots of their particular product.  The sky's the limit!  With this method, you are in a sense putting your spec ad on a silver platter for clients to understand immediately how they could use your spec, and it might just land you the job.

Remember, there are no guarantees in Spec, but we believe that a completely new and exciting venture is about to take place.  There is finally a platform that celebrates the filmmaker and wants YOUR great ideas and efforts to be seen, respected and marketed to millions around the world.  Do what you love to do, get out there and shoot, and let us help you be as successful as you can be.
Good luck and Godspeed,
-The Spexster Team

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