I work as a writer and producer in on-air creative departments for TV networks and ad agencies. You know all those fun promos that get you pumped and excited for the next week’s episode of a TV show, or leave you hanging on the edge of your seat wondering if somebody died or not?! I make those. The reason I say I lie is because sometimes I'll make it seem like someone dies in the next episode, when they really didn't. It's all part of the craft of enticing viewers to keep watching every week. To make a promo, first, I watch the episode and pick the most promo worthy moments. Then I write the copy – the voice over, and pick music. After that, I give the script and music to the editor and let them do their thing, piecing it all together. One of my favorite things to do, is sit in an edit bay with an editor and figure out how to weave a story together. I also produce and direct branded, social, and other short-form video content, copywrite, and copyedit.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I worked my ass off. I started out as a PA and was so fascinated by the world of promo – a world I had never even heard of before. Even though I’d seen tons of promos on TV, it just never occurred to me that there was literally a huge team of people making these and approving them before they went to air. I fell in love with the creative process and I basically was on top of all the producers I started out with like glue. How do you do this? Why did you pick this music? Why is this moment better to use than the other moment? I asked tons of questions and wrote everything down. I tried to absorb as much information about the craft of promo as I could, and it’s made me a better storyteller because of it.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I think when you’re first starting out, it can be really difficult handling feedback and criticism – because you see this promo that you made, and sometimes even spent weeks tweaking it, you see it as your baby. And anyone that has anything to say about your baby, is unacceptable. I think the sooner you realize that the critique has nothing to do with you – and all to do with making the promo better, you can relax and not stress out about it so much and not take it so personally. I think it’s so easy for creatives to align their value with whether or not someone approves//likes/whatever you wanna call it their work or not, and that’s bullshit.
I think being a strong writer and producer is about studying the work of senior staff, and challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone. I had been working on comedy and reality for years and felt like I really had the hang of it. But the thing I didn’t know how to do, was drama. It seemed so hard. My editor and I sat down and decided that this was the next thing we were going to tackle. We looked at the projects of the best drama writer and producer to learn how they put those promos together. From shot choice, to sound effects, to music choice, we studied their promos and asked questions. Because of that, we spent 2 seasons producing promos for the drama, The Fosters.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
After living the dream of traveling the world for 1 ½ years, I couldn’t deny the nagging feeling in me that it was finally time to pursue my other dream – filmmaking. I moved back to the US in the spring of 2017 to pursue a career in filmmaking. I’m currently writing and developing several scripts that I hope to get produced.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I’m a little bougie and a little bohemian. I love laughing and love telling stories that inspire people. You can see some of that here: http://www.jadebranion.com/promo/
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I'm pretty much focused on everything I want to be right now, which is awesome!
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I just moved and am trying to get into a new routine. It’s something that always takes me a bit of time to adjust to when I’m in a new environment. It’s usually during these times that I allow myself to procrastinate on the work I should be doing.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I’d hire someone to harass me to make sure I was working on my goals everyday and getting it done.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I’ve spent a lot of my life living in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough. Just too much fear.
I wish, that when I was in college, that I would have told myself that it is ok to try something new, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Just start – you never know what will happen, and trying something new is the only way to figure out what you truly want to be doing with your life.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I’d talk to women who work in filmmaking as writers and directors to learn more about the craft, and what it means to be a woman navigating working in this industry. What are the things they wished they knew when they first started out?
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’m looking for copywriting/copyediting projects that can be done from anywhere. I love the flexibility of working remotely. I’d love to work with clients who think globally and need help telling their story.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I love clients who are passionate, responsive, and trustworthy.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
For writing and producing promos, I charge a day rate of $650. For copywriting/copyediting, I generally do a flat fee per project – my minimum is $250.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email me with the creative brief, deadlines, budget, and any other information I need to know.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Read, write, cook, learn, relax, repeat.
This member profile was originally published in 2018.