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Youth Quotient: Making a good TV promo is like making a Subway sandwich: Neal Massey

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Youth Quotient: Making a good TV promo is like making a Subway sandwich: Neal Massey

Neal Massey has been working as a Promo Producer at Zee Network for five years. His work entails working on various promos in the English segment for Zee Café and Zee Studio. He has successfully handled some of the biggest properties on the channel like ‘Miss World,’ ‘Movie of the Month,’ and ‘Satellite Premieres.’

In a conversation with exchange4media, Massey talks about the art and craft of producing promos for TV.

As a Promo Producer you deal with videos, music and visual effects. How effectively do you have to combine them to attract viewer’s attention?

Making a good promo is like making the perfect Subway sandwich. You can have everything in it, the music, the visuals, graphics, but the most important part is the script. So once you order your sandwich, you just can’t leave, you have to make sure all that you wanted is there in it. Likewise with promos, you can’t just have an idea and expect the rest to be done; you have to work on it right from the ideation stage till it’s delivered. 

What attracted you to the field of television promos?

After doing BMM I too wanted to get into copywriting just like the other ten thousand BMM graduates. I had no idea about promos till I got my first job at Zee as a copywriter. They were the creative part of the channel, which involved working on visuals, music, graphics and scripting. It was like working in an agency or production house within the channel.

What are the three things that this industry has taught you?

1. Digital maybe the next big thing, but television is still the biggest for now.
2. You are your own client, so there are no boundaries to what you can do.
3. Somebody’s always watching.

What are the things you like and dislike about this industry?

You are at the top of the food chain. You are your own agency; writing scripts, jotting down ideas, shooting it and airing them.

But nowadays it’s slowly changing from good content to just numbers.

What are the accomplishments you are proud of?

I was selected amongst the entire Zee Network to handle the OAP duties to be based out of New York. I was the youngest and only Promo Producer to be selected amongst more than 36 channels for the OAP position.

What do you strive to achieve in your career?

A World Promax Award, something every Promo Producer strives to achieve in their career.

If not this, what do you think you would be doing?

Open up a wine shop. It never runs out of business.

Who is the one leader in the industry you look up to?

It’s too hard to say that because everybody is doing brilliant work. Some are doing lavish shoots because they have the budgets while some are creating brilliant content with nothing.

Five properties that you would like work on/brands that you would like to associate with?

IPL – just to match up to ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap.’
The Grammys – it’s got everything you’d need to change your portfolio overnight.
Vimeo – it’s where everybody does their referencing and tries to get inspired.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – for access to behind the scenes footage.
MBC Network – no taxes in the gulf.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I’d probably be backpacking with some gratuity money. Or maybe finally open a wine shop with that money.


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