How I got my job: TV commercial director Nani Naguit

(Courtesy Nani Naguit)


How I got my job is a series that spotlights a specific job or position that isn’t often featured in media. Through this series, we hope to shed light on the duties and work-life of some of the most interesting jobs in the Philippines. We’ll also share a few tips from insiders on how to land one of these positions.

This week, we talked to Nani Naguit, a TV commercial and music video director.


Tell us a few things about yourself.

My name is Nani Naguit from Malolos City, Bulacan. I am 32 years old and I have been directing TV commercials and music videos for the past 10 years. It has been an amazing ride so far and I love what I do for a living.


What projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m an in-house director of a production company called 88 Storey Films, doing TV advertisements, along with directors Sid Maderazo, Mark Querubin, Matthew Rosen, Raffy Francisco, and Miguel Luis.


Describe your educational and training background.

I took up Film and Audiovisual Communication in UP Diliman, and after graduation in 2003, I started directing music videos for indie bands and artists under major record labels in the Philippines. During that time, I also started observing for TV commercial shoots and learned a lot from there.


Would you recommend a similar path for those who wish to enter the entertainment industry?

I believe there is no single path or formula to land this type of job. You always have to love what you do and learn to enjoy it. There are tough times, of course, but they made me stronger and taught me to deal with so many different things, not just creatively, like how you deal with stress, work on deadlines, clients’ expectations and other things that are not taught in school and can only be learned through practice and from experience. So if you’re up to the task, then all I can say is for you to try it and hope you enjoy the ride as well.


Did anyone ever discourage you from pursuing this kind of work?

None. I’m very lucky for having a supportive family and friends that, up until now, encourage me to do what I love.


How did you start in the entertainment industry?

It wasn’t that easy to start a career in the entertainment industry after I graduated because I had to build my portfolio first. Clients always look for your reel, so I started contacting some of my friends who are in a band and started working on their music videos with a shoestring budget. I earned nothing because the bulk of the budget went to the production logistics of those projects. After three indie music videos, I submitted them to record labels and luckily landed some jobs.


Who are the popular personalities that you’ve worked with so far? How was it like working with them?

I’ve worked with Angel Locsin, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Christian Bautista, Bianca King, Sam Concepcion, Erik Santos, Regine Velasquez, Zia Quizon, and Karylle, to name a few. They all have different personalities and it was fun working with them. They are so good with their craft and I also learned a lot.



What is a typical work week like?

Right now, I focus on directing TV commercials. An ad starts with a project bid. Many directors are called upon, and advertising agencies will request for your “treatment.” A director’s treatment is where you put in your creative insights and approach for a particular storyboard that they created. We write them. Sometimes they request for visual pegs for a project. If the agency likes it, you can land a job. So typically, I create around one or two director’s treatments in a week. From time to time, I also compose music and do scoring projects for audiovisual presentations and web videos as well.


What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

Some think that it’s all about glamor. But it is about hard work and managing people’s expectations.


Can you share with us some of the highlights of your career?

I can’t say highlights. I prefer to use the term “turning points”. A small thing led to a big thing, then into a bigger thing. One of my recent turning points was when I was given a chance to direct an ad for OISHI with Elmo Magalona. It’s called “True Colors.” I think it got some positive reviews from people in the advertising industry, and 88 Storey Films got me to be part of their organization because of that commercial. I am very grateful to TBWASMP for trusting me to direct that project.



For you, what is your profession’s greatest challenge today?

Budgets for TV commercials are getting low compared to before. Aside from that, one of the biggest challenges is to come up with a more memorable ad. If you watch TV commercials locally nowadays, most of them look the same. But of course, there are a lot of factors that led to that. I wish that TV ads could diversify more just like the good old days.


Got some survival tips for those considering a career in the entertainment industry?

My advice is for them to believe in themselves. Believe that they can do it. Don’t be afraid to commit mistakes, but you have to learn from them quickly. Learn to adapt to situations, savor the creative process, and enjoy life!