Immersion’s Approach to Media Buying

January 29, 2021 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

Media rate cards used to be in GROSS

Now they are in NET.

The difference is a 15% agency commission. This is industry standard. At Immersion, we don’t treat it like a commission though. We put it to work through our all-inclusive services for media planning, strategy, coordination, negotiating and resizing

Advertising for roofing companies in Vancouver online.

The greatest value is in the creative planning. In 2015 we effectively doubled the Imagine A World Without Paramedics media buy with the addition of the fourth ‘911 is for emergencies only’ ad. This generated an enormous amount of free media for us. I still saw some 2015 ads running when the 2017 campaign launched.



The strategy of the campaign is actualized through creative and media working in tandem. For instance, in 2017 we had tri-boards that would rotate between our current reality and a world with More Paramedics. We coordinated television spots that would create the tension in the first ad of a stop set (two minute commercial break) and then, relieve that tension with a dramatic paramedic rescue at the end of the break with another 30-second ad. Combining the message with creative media buying like this is a part of the strategy.


We negotiate the best value we can from a fixed, predetermined budget. This translates into more bonus and pre-emptive spots, more time, more exposure, and better placement.


Coordination involves resizing the artwork to the multiple specs required in a campaign. For instance, the print ads may be sized to billboards, however rebuilding the design to a supertail can be laborious as the new specs have lights, windows, decals, signs, and unusual angles to navigate. We also coordinate everything that goes on behind the scenes regarding station transfers and making adjustments for network censors. 


Transit Specs Supertail Lamar Low Res

Resizing artwork to some specs can be tricky.


Some agencies charge hourly for all these services and pocket the commission. 

We just treat the 15% as our fee to handle everything*.


Same goes for digital. There’s a lot of labour in a digital campaign, from monitoring its progress to making snap decisions and running damage control. There are a zillion issues that can come up. We don’t bill for all the time that goes into our project management and design tweaking and file sourcing and copywriting and troubleshooting and setup and resizing and fine-tuning of these campaigns. We just take a flat fee. The industry-standard 15% commission. Some agencies charge an hourly rate for maintenance on top. We don’t.

News years resolution ad for Dr. Bernstein

An oldie but a goodie for Dr. B.











*Note: This applies to large media buys only. Toe-in-the-water campaigns are great, but for a small amount of tester media with substantial setup, we need to charge hourly. 

Our Website Design Process

January 27, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Vancouver, Vancouver advertising, websites | Leave a Comment 

We’ve streamlined the website process into a few steps to make it simpler.


We ask you to send us samples of websites you do and do not like and the reasons why. That gives us a good starting point. Also, it’s good to see your current advertising materials to get a feel for the main message you are trying to convey.


What words do you want to best optimize for search engines? We have been doing SEO in Vancouver since Immersion began in 2008, and we know from experience that it’s the best advertising you can do for your business. In the first six years or so, it’s how Immersion got every one of its clients, by being number one on Google for Vancouver advertising agency and Vancouver advertising.

Properly optimizing for keywords begins with a best-practice internal optimization. In fact, the words that you pick as you main keywords are so important, they guide the architecture of the entire website.

Don’t know what the best keywords for your business are? Then let’s go on a FISHING EXPEDITION on Adwords to find out. (Click the link to find out more about that.)

Either way, once we have your keywords determined we can start structuring how this thing is going to look.


Now that we have signed off on the best three keywords for your site, we need to lock down the skeleton. This is basically how the site will be structured. The architecture, if you will.

It usually looks something like this:








That’s a pretty simplified version, but you get what we mean.


Once we have the skeleton locked in, we move onto copy. Note, whenever I talk about copy, ever, I’m referring to text. All the words on this page are copy. I started off in advertising as a copywriter. I still am a copywriter. But I do a bunch of other things too. I edit copy too. But I never copy copy, copy? (I couldn’t help myself.)

Either way, copy is the words. In the world of advertising (or website) copywriting, it is making the words interesting, easy to understand and persuasive. Some clients like to give me a list of things that they want to say on each page (or copy points, or bullets) and I take these points and give them some poignancy and panache.

Examples of Copywriting:

I turn features of your product or service into benefits.


We only offer our services online.


Our services are available to you anywhere, anytime, night or day.

I also edit, simplify and clean up redundancies and make it easy for your clientele to navigate.

Another component of copywriting for the web is SEO copywriting. Again, always cognizant of your keywords, we make sure to pepper in just the right about of keywords, link appropriately, and tag and build around those words to best optimize you on search engines.

Some people think this is just a matter of repeating the same keyword over and over again in the copy because the same keyword multiple time is all you need to do with that same keyword and Google’s search engines will love seeing that same keyword in your text. Don’t do this. This is a bad idea. You’ll get flagged and possibly even banned.

There’s a proper way to pepper keywords.

There’s a proper way to frame content.

There’s a proper way to utilize URLs (ie

Domain names (URLs) used to be a gold mine (for instance sold for something outrageous like USD$350 million). While it helps, it’s not the be-all-end all of SEO. There’s a lot more to it.

It starts with internal optimization of your site through Keywords, Architecture, and Copywriting. Which brings us to WEBSITE DESIGN.

Oh yeah, and if clients would rather provide the copy, that’s fine too. (A lot of law firms prefer this for some reason.) We can always optimize and edit client-provided copy without changing the nuance. Sure. I have to say though, most legal copy is as dry as dirt, and if you are a law firm, I strongly recommend taking your hands so firmly off the wheel when it comes to communications copy and let us add some flavour, otherwise you’re just like every other law firm out there with copy that will never get read.


Once we have the copy doc signed off, we move onto the look of the site itself. Usually what we’ll do is present you a couple of options for the first couple of pages. You pick the one you want, and we use that as a template to build out the rest of the site.

With site design, just like everything else we do, you get one round of revisions per stage, for free. Just please keep them all in one place.


Okay, so once you’ve signed off on the look, we move into the mechanics of the thing. At this point our developer goes into his programming cave and makes sure that all the wires behind the scenes are set up properly.

In the old days, we gave clients the option of either a website with HTML or a WordPress backend for content management, our new thinking is that every site needs to have the capacity for the client to run it on their own if they desire. So all sites that we make are fully turn-key, once we are done, you can edit the copy, images, pages, etc. on your own.



In regards to websites we can do CUSTOM sites like this:


Or super simple THEME ones like this:


As well as everything in-between.




Keep in mind, it’s built around a theme, so we don’t have any flexibility in design or functionality.


It’s basically a ‘what you see is what you get’ option.





If you want a custom site, it would be built to whatever look and functionality you want, exactly the way you want it.


Custom looks professional because it is professional. As they say, buy cheap, buy twice.





Now we are ready to show you a Beta Version of the whole website and all we need to do at this stage is test it. We’ll do one last pass over the site on both sides. We’ll check that all the links are working properly, do a final copy-edit. We make sure that the photos are all correct. You, know, quality control before launch. We check mobile versions, iPads, iPods, iTouches, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 (shudder) and all the browsers and devices we can think of to make sure everything is just right for launch day.


Now, we’re ready to deliver our baby to the world. We press a button, hold our breath and shed a little tear as she spreads her wings for the first time and takes flight.




It’s one thing having a site that you can have complete control of as a client and another thing to know how to do it! So we offer a one-hour workshop with our developer to teach you everything you need to know about WordPress. In no time, you’ll be adding your own photos and captions and copy and then, you too, will be off to the races.

We made this website in 48 hours.



Your website is the storefront of your business.

You want it to be easily accessible (fast load times and ranked well on Google), interesting (well designed) and intuitive to navigate.

We build websites that are best-optimized for search results (SEO). This is only half the battle, the rest we can provide for you with ongoing content. Our social media kits will provide you weekly blogs to post, daily tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram images and whatever else you need to climb to the top of Google and drive traffic to your site.

We build websites with WordPress backends. This allows you turnkey access, so you can change photos or text, and manage the content all on your own. Of course we are always available for technical support if need be.





Four Reasons To Produce Quality Content

January 24, 2021 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

(Originally published June 6, 2012.)

If you want your business to be seen on the Internet – you need to write. A lot.

Why all the content? Here are four reasons.

1 – To spread branded messaging. People love to share interesting blog posts and columns. They pass them on to their friends and they go viral. Here is a column I wrote about Lights Out Hong Kong that got over 13,000 views. Anthea’s blog post Vancouver real estate has 3818 page views. Through Facebook, you can share a post of a picture and have thousands of people attached to your name in only a few hours.

2- To improve your position on Google. SEO and social media are closely linked. It’s one thing to have a well-optimized site, but another to bolster your search rankings with fresh material. For example, I made Simmons Mattress Gallery the #1 Vancouver mattress store through a steady online campaign. Mattress Choice is the #1 Victoria mattress store for the same reason. I am currently the #2 Vancouver advertising agency. (I was #1, I slip to 2 or 3 when I don’t have time to produce content!) And Anthea Poon is your Chinese realtor in Vancouver. I also have the top spots for English copywriter, Native English teacher and about a dozen more – all through consistent content.

3 – Online real estate. It’s one thing to have your website on the first page of Google. It’s another to dominate the whole front page. Every blog post, Twitter link or LinkedIn account you have taking up space for a keyword is a link back to you and a space your competition isn’t occupying. For instance if you search for mountain bike leg armour, you will see that Iron Mountainwear (and posts about IMW) they take up 3 spots on the first page alone. That’s a lot of prime, beachfront property.

4 – To catch unexpected keywords. When you go to a hockey game, the last thing on your mind is probably your Rogers cell phone. But that doesn’t mean that sponsoring the stadium is a bad idea. Same goes for the businesses that sponsor the news – it’s a little hit of branding that frames a wildly popular event. When we create content, we often build it around things that people are searching for online. For instance, every Daylight Savings people get confused, and look it up on Google. We capture some of that search by writing about the event on that day. Same goes for the exact dates of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other current events in the city. For a while, we were writing about all the popular things to do in Vancouver on Simmons’ blog.  It’s like having your own local magazine, without having to buy ink by the barrel.


Creating consistent content is one thing. Having it done by professional, local writers is another issue altogether. Immersion Creative employs only educated, professional writers (most of the writing is done by me, actually). And unlike content farms overseas, we understand our local market.

To find out more about our social media advertising campaigns – click here.

Digital Advertising in Vancouver—What’s Our Process?

January 24, 2021 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

We spend more time on screens than we do sleeping. Or talking to our family. Or doing literally anything else in our lives. It’s kinda scary. Especially when you think that every little click, hover, and emoji is meticulously tracked by algorithms to ultimately be used against you.

So, on that note, what’s our approach to digital advertising?





If you’ve seen the Social Dillemma, you’ll know how advertisers use the enormous amounts of data they have on us to pinpoint pitch-perfect ads.


Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter, Youtube, they all have these intricate formulas to best reach your target, by understanding our circuitry better than their own. They’ll say that they know which image you’ll click on before you do.




The future is here. With a few clicks, a Facebook Business Manager-Machine will spit out reams of hard data and slick reports showing increased clicks, impressions, and engagement achieved through their algorithms. It’s a marketer’s dream.


Not only that, digital is the most measurable form of advertising out there. Number crunchers in suits love stats. Shareholders love stats. Stats are safe.


Instagram ad for Roofers




These algorithms have become so sophisticated that they have even started doing the creative as well. At some point in the campaign, THEY start telling YOU which stock photo would work best, or how the headline should be written to garner the best results. Imagine that, robots playing art director and copywriter like they’re people! It would be adorable if it wasn’t so ominous.




There are a zillion little “icon and logo” digital advertising agencies in Vancouver out there right now, listening to their robot masters and treating advertising like a paint-by-numbers exercise.


As a result, I see a lot of stock photos and dry headlines. I see a lot of dead boring advertising. And I don’t see anything that gets anyone excited anymore in any way.


There needs to be interesting, creative and memorable branded messaging or you’re looking at a sea of bleh which isn’t doing you any favours in this never-ending war of attrition.



roofing advertising social media




So, all that saiid, do WE do digital advertising? Of course we do. We’d be crazy not to offer it to our clients.


The question is, how do we offer what everyone else is offering—but better?


One (and it’s a big one): We keep our digital costs lower than anyone else. After all, it’s the robots doing the heavy lifting. So No Hourly Billing: just a 15% markup on the media. That’s it. Industry standard. No surprise bills. No headaches. Just simple, lean and clean accounting.


Anyone can punch numbers into a machine and dance to the robot’s tune. So why not go to the best-priced operator? I’ll take a loss on digital if it means saving the rest of your campaign, and our world, from more garbage.


Two, we’re a natural fit to build the rest of your materials. Outdoor, print, radio and TV complement digital nicely. Why not go with a one-stop agency that can do it all? What does the real-world portfolio of your digital shop next door look like? Ooh, yeah, I thought so.


The robots may be boring, that doesn’t mean they don’t have pearls of insight. We use those pearls to make your message and presence in the real world more precise.

paramedics advertising social media

As the Father of Advertising (Not a Robot) once said:

Some individuals use statistics as a drunk man uses lamp-posts—for support rather than for illumination.

(David Ogilvy was a fanatic about research by the way.)


Let’s face it. You come to Immersion for ideas and production. That’s our thing. We’re as good as the next guy when it comes to digital. The robots see to that. But we’re cheap in that department. Why? It gives us a chance to take what we learn and make anything but ordinary campaigns that will give your brand a shimmering razor-sharp edge in a sea of dull grey duds.

Our SEO Process

January 23, 2021 | Filed Under Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

Vancouver SEO

This Is How We SEO

If you type in Vancouver advertising agency, Immersion Creative is consistently at the top of Google for organic and Places.

About 17 years ago I figured out how to optimize keywords to the top of search engines and I utilized this to great effect.

I got a job as a copywriter in Hong Kong by optimizing the names of the creative directors I met and linking them back to my blog.

When I first started Immersion, I did the same thing to optimize my company website so that I’d have the top spots for Vancouver advertisingVancouver advertising agencyVancouver marketing company, etc.

When people first came to me, that’s all they wanted. 

Hey, Mike, you got Immersion to the #1 spot for Vancouver advertising. Can you do the same thing for my business, but with these keywords?”

Sure enough, I did. For the first six years or so of Immersion, all of my clients found me through my SEO. 

To get clients organically to the top of Google, I have kits. It takes a while to get results. 

Everybody and their carpet cleaner thinks they know how to optimize now. Everyone’s a lawyer these days as well. And a doctor. Google and the Dunning-Krueger effect have created an entire generation of overzealous keyboard ”experts.”

Until they’ve had a highly contested term like: Vancouver advertising, Personal Injury Law or Vancouver real estate, I’d take their advice with a grain or eight of salt.

Either way, here’s how we do it.

FIRST: You Pick Your Keywords 

These are whatever you want to move to the top of Google for your search.

One of the first things we’ll ask you when doing website design is what are your keywords? We build the whole site around them, properly, so it’s important.

TWO: We Optimize Your Website Internally 

Despite what Wix and all these off-the-shelf themes will have you believe, there’s a lot more to SEO than just filling out the SEO section of a DIY website, or tags. We get down into the weeds and rewrite everything from page architecture to captions and copy to make it work with the right keyword weight and frequency. We do the proper linking. Basically, we just do it right. 

If you want a copy edit and internal SEO overview of your website, that’s where we start. If we are building your site from scratch, we just do it right the first time from the beginning.

THREE: Pick Your Kit 

Internal optimization is for best practices only. Basically we will take your as far as you can go, and you will be prepped as well as any professional with expert help can be without the necessary ongoing maintenance to keep you on top. 

With Kit One we’ll take one keyword to the top at a time. My favourite way to do this is by writing blog posts. Blog posts are great content and they provide many benefits beyond just SEO.

We have our professional writers to write these for you. They are all local, highly-educated Vancouverites. We don’t farm out content overseas. It’s quality content over volume that works 

There are two ways to do weekly blogs for content.

We can either give you a list of topics in advance that you can sign off on and edit, OR you can provide the content and we edit and fine-tune it for SEO best practices and post. Just as a heads up, everyone who was ever opted to write their own blogs has ultimately let it fall by the wayside and it just never seems to get done. 

You’re better off having it written by a pro. You wouldn’t believe his much time you can waste procrastinating before just getting down to write if you’re not in the habit of writing every day. You have a business to run. Focus your attention on that and leave the blinking cursor to us. The other things we do is manage your social media channels. We put these articles up on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.

 We can also build lists and put you on them (I was doing this way back in 2009). Now everyone with a keyboard is doing the same thing. My gut tells me that all these directory sites are going to get de-listed soon though.

So what’s the next big SEO bandwagon everyone is going to jump on? Well, you can either follow the followers to find out—or get back into the lab with me. 


Our Approach To Theme Websites

January 22, 2021 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

Sometimes you don’t want a fancy website. Sometimes you just need something quick and dirty for the time being, so you can focus on other things.

Theme websites are cheap and fast to build. We can crank them out less than two weeks if you’re organized and for under $1500 if we keep it no-frills.

It will be simple. Like us helping you host on a platform like Wix, or if you want us to build to a theme like you’d find on Themeforest – sure.

It will get the job done—for now.

But bear in mind…

Poor people spend more money on boots because they cant’ afford good boots out the gate. I keep saying this over and over, but now, I give up. You want a fast, simple, functional website you’ll probably need to replace in two years, who am I to stand in your way?

We will oblige.

Here’s our process:

First, we get you a domain and hosting. More on that later.

The next steps are:


1. Site skeleton / SEO keyword – sign off.


2. Copy points for each page – just rough bullets are fine, or links to existing pages, I’ll do the copywriting and SEO once they’re in.


3. Imagery – please send us as many high-res photos as you can. We’ll set you up with a Shared Drive so you can upload to the Cloud.

4. Stock photography – we can fill the gaps with stock photos if need be. They’re about $15/credit, so custom or original photos is preferable.


*This would be the time to look into getting professional headshots. We can set that up.


5. Design of first two pages. We’ll show this to you once we get the photos and copy in (give us a few days after). If you like the direction, we’ll do one round of edits and sign off on those pages and build out the rest with these first pages as a style template.


6. Final design delivery. One round of edits.


7. Hosting setup. 


8. Beta launch. Bug fixes.


9. Launch.

And that’s it! (For us.)


10. Edits down the road.

If you want to make changes, you can do it autonomously through Editor. After the changes are done, then you have to save it. You can always “preview” it before going live in Wix Editor.

If the new changes look good and you are happy with them then you just have to click “publish” again to see the latest changes live.

So to sum up:

1. Open Editor

2. Make some changes

3. Save (often it’s autosaving, but click save just to make sure)

4. Preview it

If everything is ok, click “publish”, if not go back to point 2.

The changes are updated.

In the editor you can switch between mobile device and desktop version. Sometimes it needs a little adjustment on the mobile site version too.


Here are a few sites we’ve done from themes.

theme websites with Immersion Creative











Theme website build for The Wong Lab

Doing It On The Cheap – 4 Pitfalls That Might Haunt You Later

January 22, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, design, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

There are sites like Fiverr and Looka where you can get your branding for offensively low prices.

I get it, you’re starting out and money is tight. I’ve been there.

Now, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, obviously. However, even if you accept that compromise, there are a few other pitfalls that you might want to consider that might not be obvious out the gate.

First of all, never go through Fiverr or Looka. Just don’t.

You can get a cheap, but half-decent logo for $300-400 if you roll the dice with a third party site like (this is what I did with Immersion, it’s true). Sometimes I even point thriftier startups in this direction. What I do for some clients is just book a few (3-5) hours to help them with the setup and creative direction, and then we build a ‘contest’ and guide the entries towards what you want.

Holden’s first stab at the Immersion logo when he was 7. Kid’s got promise.

















4 Pitfalls of Being A Cheap Ass

1. You might end up with a logo that’s already out there. 

That’s a big expense and a potential lawsuit down the road. You can’t count on dudes churning out logos for contests overseas to put in the any degree of due diligence.

2. You are playing designer vs. having a professional designer do the job.

Sure, you can represent yourself in court, or you can remove your own appendix, but is it really a good idea?

3. Buy cheap, buy twice. 

Chances are you’re going to want a better logo, website, and overall branding down the road. So the money you are saving in the beginning just gets tacked onto the expense at the end. Rich people buy better boots and they save money in the long run (it’s an interesting read). Your brand is your boots, so you better make sure it fits right.

4. You’re wasting your equity.

I liked my logo, but when I ask professional designers what they think of it, I get a lot of eye rolls! I probably should have done it right the first time, being an ad agency and all, but you live and learn. We are remaking it now for my new website launch (2021 Year of the Phoenix Holla!). Reprinting everything (especially metal business cards at $5 a pop) can be expensive. Not to mention all the signs, stationery, pens, mugs, collateral, and all the wasted years building equity in brand that’s no more. So take that for what you will.


I’m the Ghost of Advertising Yet To Come, do not make the same mistakes as me, Ebenezer, for it is not too late.

Our Own Devices

January 17, 2021 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

When it comes to working together with a group of people that have specific talents and experience in their department, I take the philosophy that it’s best to leave each specialist to their own devices.

Umbrella Shop campaign that won Gold at the Summit International Awards

Who’s that grumpy guy?











Graphic Design

Anyone can slop around on Adobe Illustrator. But good graphic design is a rarity. This is an art form that takes talent to get established in the first place, and then years and year of expertise to get it right. When it comes to design, I don’t have that talent or expertise, so I take a back seat. I usually let them do what they do best and leave them to their Wacom tablets—with minimal interference.


RCABC Beam ad





















Like most things in the creative world, most people have a ‘know it when I see it’ approach. This is great when it comes to judging what works, and terrible when it comes to refining. Take lighting, for example. There are styles of lighting that I love, but I don’t have the faintest idea as to how to create them. That’s why I bring on experts. Looking through the portfolios of the amazing advertising photographers I work with, I know exactly what to expect. So I take my hands off the wheel and let them work their magic on their SLR Canons. And viola, everything works out.


Applied Arts winner MS

Epic and moody are Peter Holst staples.
























Hair and Make-up

I barely know how to apply sunscreen. So who am I to stand in the way of a hair and makeup artist that has years of talent, expertise and dedication to the craft? This is definitely one area where I keep my hands well away from their Morphe bronzers and brushes.












Building a great print campaign is a collaborative process—but it’s not creative by committee. There’s a difference. Ideally, the client has a vision, and it’s well-articulated, and then they leave us to our cameras, and tablets and brush-like devices to do what we do best: make anything but ordinary advertising.




When left to their own devcies

A good creative never blames their tools.

Influencer Acquisition

January 17, 2021 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

The Canadian Mental Health Association was looking for mental health advocates to promote the BounceBack campaign in 2019.

We put together a list of public figures we’d like to see help us, from the cast of Riverdale, to local sports teams and radio hosts. The client ran with the idea, adding big names to the list like Justin Bieber, and Ellen, and Her Majesty The Queen. Worth a shot. In the end we had 70 or so names and contacted each one, no matter how big or how small.

We put together a nice direct mail package, and decorated them with original artwork (a la MAD magazine).

Oran really knocked this one out of the park.

No we never got Deadmau5…

…but not for lack of trying.

Here are some others:

Love these designs by Katie.

Maria had some cool ones too.

We even contacted Ellen. She wrote the nicest ‘no’ back.


In the end, after contacting over 70 people, Mike Reilly (quarterback of the BC Lions), two radio hosts Arran Henn (QMFM) and Casey Jo Loos (Peak) and rock band Mother Mother agreed to be mental health advocates for Canadian Mental Health.

Not a bad return for a direct mail campaign, especially considering the people we were trying to reach.

6 Reasons For Production Fees

January 13, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, clients | Leave a Comment 

Production Fees. Disbursements. Markups. Expenses. Whatever you want to call them, they are a part of the billing structure of an advertising agency or production company. The industry standard is generally between 10% to 30% of whatever needs to be acquired by the agency to move things along.

However… why do they exist? Why is there this fee system in the first place?

Here are six reasons:

There are a lot of moving parts to a production. Focus on your business and we’ll handle where you get all this gear.


1. Knowing Where To Go

Chances are, if you tried to book your own actors, or hair and makeup artists, or source your own props, or whatever, you won’t really know where to begin. Sure you can Google these things, but without existing knowledge, you’ll be paying a premium, and taking a chance on people you don’t know.

2. We’ve Made The Rookie Mistakes So You Don’t Have To

Murphy was right. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And these hiccups often come at a price, either in time or in money. The best thing you can do is live and learn. That’s what we’ve done over the last 12 years, and it’s the learning part that is the value here. We won’t make that mistake twice, be it forgetting to bring spare batteries when you’re shooting in a swamp in Port Moody, or anticipating changes in usage down the road.

3. We Get The Best Price

The best way to negotiate is by knowing the true value of everything involved. If you’re new to booking a production, or you’re not familiar with specific industries such as armourers, or gear rentals, or illustrators, you won’t know where to begin in the negotiations. Coming in too low is insulting and it’s guaranteed to shoot you in the foot later. Too high? Well, chances are you won’t discover that until much later.

4. Reliability Is Important

You can book creative services off Craigslist all you like, and you might find some great deals. Realistically though, you don’t really know if half those people are going to show when the day arrives. And you can’t really afford to have that uncertainty. Knowing how to build a reliable crew that won’t waste time or flake out is one of the reasons you pay an agency to handle this part of the process.

5. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork

No one loves this part of the job, but we’ll handle it. The process is enormously streamlined when you are dealing with an agency that has done this for years, whether it’s navigating actors’ unions, managing payroll, or just finding the most efficient way to get shooting permits on short notice.

6. Risk

It’s the agency’s credit card that’s on the line. If something goes horribly wrong, it’s not yours. That extra night or two of restful sleep is worth every penny if things go awry.

I could go on, but you get the idea. There’s a lot of value to bringing in an experienced agency with a lot of industry know-how. It just simplifies the whole process. That peace of mind, that better rate, that reliable delivery, that’s why that 10-30% gets added on.