How to win Iron Imager, try all the fast food…

Sidey Belt

WWRS was a blast, from at least what I’ve heard :)… I could not make it this year, which makes me really sad as most my radio friends were there and had a fantastic time. Like every year, benztown did the Iron Imager contest.
You know everything about Iron Imager already? If yes, go ahead, if not read this year’s Iron Imager posts.

Iron Imager 2016 Runner Ups

Iron Imager 2016 Pre Interview Sidey

Iron Imager 2016 Pre Interview Dan Kelly

Iron Imager 2016 Readers Vote

So to make a long story short, Sidey won against three time Champ Dan Kelly and while he is back in Oz I took the chance to interview him. Learn how to create the winning promo in less than 60 minutes, what the best LA fast food tastes like and of course what does an Ozzi tourist do in California… Enter Sidey!

Sidey, how does it feel to be back home?
Feels good. I missed my family. And the response from everyone at Triple M has been amazing. Just gotta get over the jetlag (or LA lag) and get back into work mode after such an insane high.

Sad DK Gary Sidey

How was Iron Imager and WWRS?
Iron Imager was a great experience. The pressure was incredible. It’s an awesome competition. Really interesting experiment. I thought for a while that I wouldn’t get a finished promo up in time. You’ve really gotta plan and map out the time or you’re screwed. Dan was a top opponent and it was fun hanging out and getting to know him. And the Benztown crew treated me like royalty. Had a ball!


The WWRS was excellent too. So many big names all wandering around. It was cool to hang with Jeff Thomas and Jeff Schmidt and loads of other big name imaging guys. Triple M was well represented too, with Guy Dobson and Mike Fitzpatrick speaking on panels and Byron Cooke did a killer job as MC of the event.


Dan Kelly, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Iron Imager Champion, said: “DAMNIT! Umm…I mean. Congrats to Sidey! Really great job from him under lots of pressure, a ticking clock and using somebody else’s ProTools system! Especially great job considering he’s Australian and knows next to nothing about American politics! He had quite a week in the USA! It’s been a lot of fun and an honor to hold the belt three years in a row. Iron Imager is a great contest, putting the spotlight on imaging and imaging guys…highlighting the crazy job we do. It’s a pressure-filled contest, but lots of fun! Huge thanks to Chachi, Andy, Masa, Chris, Justin, Kevin, Bonnie, Syd, Shane and everybody at Benztown for being such awesome people and good friends. They’re a special group. I guess I’m in Iron Retirement for now!”


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How did it feel to create a NT Promo in an hour? Did you image this format before? How were the work parts?
It felt good doing something different. I’ve only ever worked on Rock and Classic Rock before. Dan was under the same pressure so it was a level playing field. There were more than enough Benztown work parts to make 20 promos. So plenty to play with. I probably could’ve spent the whole 60 minutes just going through the work parts provided.


Any specific tactic you used to get this promo done as fast as possible and as good as possible?
Yeah. I laid out the political grabs I wanted to use first, in a story on a timeline. Then cut up the VO and moved it around to build the promo alongside the grabs. Then I built the music etc. around the timeline I’d set out.


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Any advice for next years contestants?
Go get it. It’s great fun. If you make it through just relax and plan your time. At the end of the day it’s just a fun experience win or lose. So just get into it and enjoy it.

How was LA? What have been the best LA stories?
LA was bananas. 7 days. At least 3 of them were allnighters.. I had a crazy time with awesome friends and new people if just met, including Kings of Leon. Saw all the sites, tried all the fast food.. It was very cool.

My highlights were a day at Santa Monica, riding bikes along Manhattan Beach, meeting KOL at Sunset Marquis and having an epic night out, did a VO for Pizza Hut TVC while I was there, walked a dog at the Hollywood sign, and loads more.

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