Friday, July 17, 2009

Mr. Brooks

Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Hi. My name is Frank Brooks and I’m the Director of Production for DDB West in San Francisco.

Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
I guess you could say I kinda fell into it. A degree in Forestry that lead to National Geographic Television which lead to stints in commercial production, eventually landing on the agency side. My first experience with digital was at Wieden & Kennedy freelancing on Microsoft and CKone. I moved from there on to Hal Riney and Leo Burnett gaining experience in film production. I’ve always found the intersection between film and interactive an interesting place to be. It’s no surprise that we are graying the lines between digital and traditional production. Our agency is evolving into that space as more creative heads that way and as we push to find better solutions for our clients.

How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Scouring the internet for what is new and different. I find The FWA (, iPro and Design Charts ( to be a few of the good resources out there. Beyond that, pushing ourselves internally to discover things for the creative’s as they are coming up with the ideas. Trying not to be bound by the same ways of thinking.

What does your ideal client/project look like?
I’d have to say the most recent experience with McAfee was pretty ideal. For a client that has never done something this big before, there was a lot of trust at the onset of the project – which helped create a collaborative environment. The project itself evolved into a feature length documentary with an intriguing subject (the business of hacking), and our production/digital partners where first rate. Everybody involved wanted to make something great, which I think shows in the final product.

How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
I’ve always found being honest and up front a good way to go. It’s worked out well in most instances.

What was the best project you have ever work on?

It depends, they work on different levels. Lately, I’d say McAfee’s Stop H*Commerce project we recently completed in conjunction with Tribal DDB. Everything on that just worked – great director (Seth Gordon) and digital production (Firstborn) - and the team was inspired. You can check it out at We have another project in the works for Greenpeace that I’m excited about as well.

How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
To be honest, I believe in less rather than more - no more than two. I find producers to be an important creative addition to the process - which is hard to do with too many projects on ones plate.

What does your dream production team look like?

A realistic production schedule, combined with something never been done before, add an enthusiastic team who believes in what we are doing and a willingness to do what it takes to make something amazing.

How do you ensure that your client’s best interests are met?
Making sure they feel part of the process. I’ve found some of the best work we’ve done is when we’ve had a trusting client who believes in the creative idea as much as we do. When those things are in place, most of the time the clients come out happy.

What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
I think we will continue to blur the lines between traditional and digital.
I am seeing longer form content ideas surfacing. Clients seem to be re-discovering the notion of “brought to you by” or “sponsored by” messaging, along with development of a longer form piece. It’s a trend I hope to see more. Oasis “Dig Out Your Soul In The Street”, Philips “Carousel” and Sagami Condoms “Love Distance” are some of the recent good examples.

Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers?

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club”
-Jack London


  1. Frank Brooks is an experienced, talented interactive professional. The least the editor of this blog could do is make the links mentioned _live_.

  2. Monkey Crayons,

    Links look live to me.