What are “specs”?

Specs are :30 commercials made by independent artists, designers, students, actors, interactive techies, animators, photographers, videographers, writers, filmmakers, etc.

What’s the difference between specs and commercials?

Commercials are made by agencies, by committee. Specs are made by a people who actually use the product or have some connection to it on a personal, political, artistic, or philosophical level. Specs are alternative indy commercials.

What’s the .pianospecs. philosophy?

Our aim is both historical and revolutionary. We aim to change the paradigm of advertising and consumerist ideology one spec at a time. Simply, we believe that consumers like us should also be providers of content. We believe that the “Madison Avenue Idea” is passe, wastefully expensive, and comes from the Age of Television. While all of us were influenced by TV, .pianospecs. relates more to the web, peer-to-peer marketing, and the creation of ideas.

Do specs have to be :30?

Specs can be of any length up to a minute. But a classic spec is :30.

Who can be a “specmaker”?


When and where did .pianospecs. start?

.pianospecs. began in Florence, Italy as a natural delivery mechanism of student work created in a course taught by Professore Poe in the summer of 2005. The six week course is being taught again mid-May through end of June ‘06. To find out more, contact NYU, Tisch School of the Arts Summer Abroad Program (

Why would product companies lease a spec from .pianospecs.?

There is no guarantee that any spec will be leased, but we think that in the next few years there’ll be a huge demand for peer-to-peer advertising on the web, cable TV, as well as on cell phones, iPods, etc. Often, products spend upward of a million dollars creating commercials; we believe that the low-cost of specs will appeal to product makers world-wide. We also believe that .pianospecs. reps the best specmakers in the world - we are intent on promoting them and their work. Finally, we know that there are many companies interested in helping young filmmakers, designers and the like, and the mutual benefit to both parties is a win-win situation.

Do specs have to sell a product?

.pianospecs. represents the specmakers, not the product. The “product” can be anything you want it to be. .pianospecs. is a bank of beautiful specs, much like Getty or Corbis are for images.

Who owns the specs?

The specmaker always retains ownership of her or his spec

How does one send a spec to .pianospecs.?

Export and send as mpeg4 file to

What tools are necessary to make a spec?

In our class at La Pietra we used Sony PD-150 miniDV cams to capture sound and image. Though you can use any image-capturing device. We used Apple G4 Powerbooks with Final Cut Pro to edit and export.

What’s a “custom spec”?

As each specmaker has a unique style, our clients may want a spec made by a particular specmaker or they may not find their product represented in our gallery. In such cases, the client may request a spec be manufactured. .pianospecs. administers and facilitates the process, production and delivery of the custom spec.

What percentage of the fee does the specmaker get?

The specmaker gets 80% of the fee of a licensed spec and 60% of a custom spec. For every spec a specmaker puts up on .pianospecs. she or he gets 100 shares. See specmaker agreement for more details.

What are the Dante Awards?

The DANTE AWARDS are presented at our annual gala in late June in Florence for the best specs on-line. We congratulate last year’s winners Liam, Gillian, Rafi, Josh, Pear, Roberto, Susan, Ben, Alessandro, and Domenico.