Art of Transition

June 22, 2009

By Lynne Roswall, VP and Director of Production @NYCA 

Transitioning an advertising agency into the fast-paced new media landscape is a little like becoming a new parent.  As with parenthood, one can never know what it is like until that fateful day when birth arrives– you can read about it, talk about it, gain some exposure through taking care of nieces /nephews, but it will never be like the real thing.  And it is irreversible.  One day you aren’t doing much in digital and then the very next day you are moving dozens of diverse digital features through production. 

Transitional experiences take guts and a little naivety.  Not able to rely on the ‘old standards’ means what is in front of you is uncharted territory.  Embracing possibility is something we creative entrepreneurs do naturally, and yet there is still struggle to get out of our own way.  For seasoned professionals to think with a beginner’s mind is a part of transition that’s both exciting and uncomfortable.   

The art of transition is facing those crevices of having no idea how to move forward – not for lack of smarts, talent, or inventiveness – but because it’s never been done.  Those who have an incessant need-to-know embrace becoming a beginner again, not being perfect and not having the answers.  The great thing we found is that prior experience – those faithful systems and experiences our folks had in their general market advertising careers – are critically important for solving problems in new media. It’s challenging to learn how to engage consumers in an ever-changing digital media landscape. But you have to start not with mechanical knowledge, but with great consumer engagement skills – period. The right mechanics are nothing without a create idea as a spinal cord. 

The art of transition lies in balancing the fever of exploration, development of a new business model and the acceptance that transition takes time.  We now tell expectant digital parents to enjoy the journey, bring what you have learned, rely on your successful core, be open to imperfection and just DO.

The Art of Production

June 4, 2009

By Lynne Roswall, VP and Director of Production @NYCA 

Producers are a unique bunch.  We are, by nature, PROblemsolvers, PROactive and we PROmote the importance of executing work efficiently for our clients.  Producers who grew up in advertising are most likely focused within an isolated medium; Print Producer, Broadcast Producer, Online Producer. 

Yesterday, that worked well because the world of advertising was also categorized into specific mediums and we found ourselves categorizing our agency’s work, “that’s a TV spot, that’s a sales video, that’s a billboard, that’s a microsite.”


Today, the world is not as clean. A TV spot could be edited from an internal training video and assets for a flash feature could be repurposed from a print shoot.  Today’s producers across all disciplines must collaborate.  Skill sets are expanding. Broadcast producers may produce a flash video for a microsite, print producers may now work with CGI companies to produce 3D renderings at higher resolution, online producers may become broadcast producers developing video used in a viral campaign. Even if you don’t set out to work across disciplines, chances are you will one day be faced with doing so.

The artistry of becoming a good producer is in the ability to be malleable, resourceful and inventive.  We have a hunger for figuring out how to get things done and become fed by accomplishing the seemingly impossible task;  on time and on budget.

I believe the process of production development is similar, regardless of the medium. Producers take something intangible in the creative idea and make it into a tangible thing. The more diverse the project, the more the producer’s tenacity is tested.  What skills or experience we may have gleaned from one project, we take to the next. 

With production budgets getting slashed, faster deadlines, sales targets and most brands needing to interact more directly and personally with today’s consumer, it is imperative that producers start thinking of different ways to develop assets used across many mediums.

While somewhat daunting for those of us who have been in the business a while, there is something happening to our industry.  It is a new time.  There is an art in re-evaluating one’s role, one’s experience, one’s ability to engage a new consumer.  The only ‘known’ is that what was done before is probably not what will be done now, or at least not in the same way. 

The art of production is in the doing of it.  The artistry is in the journey, gaining experience while wading through impossibilities and coming out the other end, grown.  It is in considering the potential of inventiveness.  On time and on budget.  Kumbayah.