There’s a notion in the film and television production world that holds that the creative element is king. That’s not to say creative types and artists aren’t important…they are definitely a huge piece of the puzzle. The truth is the industry requires a strong collaborative bond between creative types and production types. A good, honest producer is worth their weight in gold – producers often make or break a project. They wear different hats, assume different roles, and keep the production moving by constantly pushing progress or protecting the line of how things are done. Join us as we detail below the attributes of a outstanding producer…
The Creative Is Fragile
People assume that producers are just budget or logistics drones, but they actually have a great stake in managing the continuation of the creative process in film or television production alongside artists and directors. Finishing a film or TV program from start to finish is no easy task – as a producer you have to deal with other people’s decisions, poor timing, tacky taste, and a multitude of personality types. Despite this, the producer has to prioritize different needs and wants from different angles, creating options that best suit the production while driving progress at the end of the day.
Good producers take wide range of viewpoints and synthesize a best practice along the way, essentially nurturing the creative process to protect the original vision. That doesn’t mean producers don’t have to get down and dirty with agencies, directors, and artists themselves to steer the production away from pitfalls. There’s definitely a fine line to walk in providing people with valuable insight on how to improve the production without injecting your own creative two cents. Great producers are delicate when dealing with the fragile creative elements in a production, but still strong enough to get their point across.
There’s No I in Team
Producers truly have a selfless role in the production process. Whether it’s being available to put their nose to the grindstone 24/7 or adapting to setbacks on the fly, producers must always support the team by keeping morale high. Film and TV production is incredibly demanding; the producer bears the full load of this stress on their shoulders at all times. It is the role of the producer to broker solutions to objections and problems that come up along the way in the production process; when others are stressed and driven to their wits end, who can they rely on to think clearly?
Great producers foster discussion amongst team members, collusion in the ranks, and offer everything from humor to comfort to keep the production moving. The goal is to relieve the pressures of a naturally stressful process, while not adding any other stress to the project themselves.
A Jack of All Trades
When it comes to the production environment, producers will face new challenges and hurdles on a daily basis. There’s a constant learning process for producers on every project they embark upon. Good producers realize they don’t have the answers to every problem and challenge that comes their way. They realize they have a network of people to consult and empower the talented staff on the project to rally a solution. The key here is knowing how to ask the right questions at the right times to gain the trust of local staff, which in turn makes the producer look good when everything is hashed out.
Great producers constantly ask themselves “How I push this project along while working with a team to produce the best film within time and budget constraints, while maintaining the director’s creative spark and fostering creativity on behalf of the artists on the film?” Juggling the interests and visions of different people is no easy task – but the best producers handle it with grace and ease like it’s second nature.
All in all, the production process is an insanely chaotic tornado of stress, 11th hour edits, and fixes on the fly. Great producers are able to wear multiple hats at the same time, putting out disjointed fires left and right to keep the project on track at any cost. The truly talented ones that channel their own values and strong personalities to build a framework that tactfully handles the ups and downs produce memorable films.
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