The Blog

by Mike Hayward

Enough with the private thank yous.

I was leaving an audio session at Clatter & Din the other day, and our sound engineer, John Buroker, had done an incredible job on our spots. I mean he killed it. Which is what John does.

I thanked him, shook his hand and left.

You know what? That’s not good enough. It’s people like John who make the work what it is, yet the agency gets almost all the credit. To try to right these terrible wrongs, I’d like to publicly thank a few people and share some of their work. Starting with John.

John Buroker is one of the nicest, coolest people you’ll meet. He’s also so easygoing it’s easy to forget how damn good he is. Like what he did with our Folksy Announcer spot.

Then there’s Scott Wiess from Pure Audio. When Scott leans over and says, “Hey, what if we try…” you do it. First, because you like him (everyone does), and second because his suggestion is going to make your spot waaaay better. Like with Leonard & the Seattle Aquarium.

And there’s Dave Howe at Bad Animals. Man that guy can mix. You’ll be having a great time with your client, chatting away, then Dave will say, “How about this?”, then play you the spot and blow you away. Exhibit A: Fluffy Bunny.

I can’t forget the Vince Werner, a true audio icon. I won’t go into detail about his work on the Mariners, but it’s so far above and beyond he should charge us triple. But he won’t because he’s a fantastic human being. I give you What’s in a Name.

But what’s sound without picture? Hmm, guess that’s radio. Anyway, the directors we work with all share common traits: they’re nice, sane people who are good at what they do.

Life is too short to work with jerks. So in the non-jerk director category, I proudly present:

Steve Utaski of Remedy Pictures. Terrific director who makes shoots fun and spots great. Like this Fred Willard work for Symetra Financial.

Ron Gross of Blue Goose Productions does the impossible: shoots five to seven Mariners commercials in three days with non-actors who sometimes don’t speak English. And ta da, out comes Larry Bernandez of Encore Encore fame.

Then there are the two greats from North by Northwest: Jeff Noble & John Eames.

Jeff has this thing down to a science, which is how he made a desert out of Moses Lake for the WSU Arid Crops spot. While John’s directorial brilliance is helping us make boringly good surprisingly engaging for LifeWise with spots like Work It.

Onto Jack Barrett of Wacko Films, who shot and edited our new World Vision spots. A pleasure on and off the set, he handles pressure like it’s not even there. Check out Angel By Your Side to see his handiwork.

Speaking of editors, Kelly Vander Linda of Collective and Troy Murison of Dubs Inc. spin raw footage into gold. Here’s one of Kelly’s spots for Seattle Children’s, and Troy’s Dance Troupe spot for LifeWise of Washington.

Need post effects? You need Kevin Adams. A former Wazzu kicker turned amazing aftereffects artist, Kevin makes things look far better on screen than they do in your head. Check out his work here.

To borrow from most acceptance speeches, there are plenty of other great people I’m sure I’ve missed. So to all of you I offer up a very big, very public thank you. And you’ll probably get the private thank you handshake at some point too.