Babblings 250 wideFreidom is so sweet – We’re happy to wish fair winds and safe passage to Kevin Freidberg, an exceedingly gifted writer and beloved fellow eccentric with whom we worked on so many great radio spots over the past few years.

Kev, most recently of Minneapolis advertising agency BBDO, has decided to embark on a career as a published essayist with a minor in stand-up comedy. And, since “essaying” doesn’t quite seem to make it into the Minnesota Hot 100 jobs, Kev has moved his laptop and fine assortment of Cross pens to New York (“Brooklyn”, he would no doubt clarify for me) to pursue is dream.

Kev got the insatiable itch to head east after having been published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine on April 9th, 2006 with a humorous and insightful essay on meditation called The Very Quiet American. We liked the piece so much, we offered him some time in the booth to record it for posterity. Give it a click, listen and laugh.

Kevin got in the booth and sidled up to our beloved M149 to record his essay, The Very Quiet American

Kev’s just inked another wry work called, “Please Buy This Chicken”, that recounts how he lost his job after an ill-fated attempt to write, in his words, “even one acceptable headline for pre-cooked, un-refrigerated chicken”. We recently recorded Kevin reading that piece here at Babble-On for submission to Ira Glass’ program “This American Life” – we’re just waiting on the phone call. Good luck, Kev.

Chris-PrestonBetter Direction 101- If you’ve ever tried to direct voice-over talent, you know that there can be those difficult moments when you just can’t seem to effectively communicate what you want…

You ask for…”More energy”, “Less energy”, “Frame this”, “De-emphasize that”,”Go quicker but, y’know, keep it sounding natural”, “Let’s try making it sound like a Soccer Mom in fishnets”, “Stay tough, cool and aloof yet really sensitive about the added value of this free checking account for Seniors”, “Can you highlight the word ‘is’ in your script? – the client really wants that punched up.”

And, yet, the performance, um… sucks.

Chris Preston (pictured above), of Minneapolis advertising agency Kerker, has been toying with a new approach; Instead of politely asking a voice-over talent to consider his direction, he just berates them with an incoherent tirade. Chris says that, from his experience, this unique approach works only when the actor is holed up in some glitzy studio on a coast far, far away – and, he advises, you gotta wait ’til at least take 15 – otherwise, the line mysteriously goes dead. He’s yet to try this on any Minneapolis voice-over talent, but he’s stoked by the prospect.

Zing! – Yet another tip from the pros!

Yeah, we’re just full o’ crap. – Chris, was in with Greg and aped for the camera while working on some new ads for Johnsonville with Jim Belushi this week. Hope to have more on that later.

Show_pushpinWhat have you got to show for it? – Babble-on was lucky enough to have worked on a few radio spots that ended up doing well in The Show (the annual Minneapolis Advertising Awards soirée). The big event was on November 10th at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis so… we’re a little behind on the Thank You cards.

First off, a tip of the hat to Eugene Fuller for his A.G. Edwards spot called “Tortoise” which was a Radio Single finalist (gotta Babble-Blog story on that here). Eug was at Carmichael Lynch at the time, but just recently landed a gig at Publicis in NYC. Yes, our MinneApple is tasty, but the Big Apple had the sweeter bite.

Kudos too to Michael Atkinson of Clarity Coverdale Fury for his Radio Single finalist,“Legal Speak”, a Dairy Queen ad.

And, our friends at Olson were the sole finalists in the Radio Campaign category with some quirky ads for the Ely Minnesota Chamber Of Commerce. The radio spots, “Glitter Glue”, “Kiss” and “Sushi” were an experience to record and produce – as this photo proves so well. We’re hoping to have some more info on these spots in a future babble-blog entry.