So you want to be a Producer. You want to handle the Business side of things and still get to see your Name on the Big Screen and in lights. But…
What Does a Producer Do?
A real Producer is just the name they give to person who “makes the movie happen“. It’s very much like being a Small Business Owner. There’s no certification or requirements to be a Producer. You just have to be the person who is handling the logistics of the production.
A Producer Produces, hence the name. And in the film industry, actually getting a Production in motion is like giving birth. It takes work. So the creative aspect of a good Producer is usually finding a great story and bringing the right people on board.
Producing Skill Set
- Have you ever Organized an Event (even a surprise party)?
- Have You Ever had to Manage a Team of people?
- Do you like being the One in Charge?
- Do you see projects through to the end?
That’s what it takes to be a Producer. You have to be the one to light the initial fire of a Production, to bring people together and keep it going.
The Fastest Way to Being a Producer
Here’s the fastest way to be a Producer: Take out your wallet. Give some money to a Director, a Production Manager, a Writer, and some Crew Guys. Tell them to make a movie about an ex-cop who is falsely accused of killing the Prime Minister of Canada. Let them do all the work. Show up at the Premiere. Fend off the ladies and photographers.
Congratulation! You are a Producer.
Realistically, half of the “Producers” in the Industry are just people who provide money to other people to make movies. They rarely provide much creative input. There’s also people who are friends with the Director or did someone a favor who get credited as an “Associate Producer”. So you get a lot of bad movies from rich people who thought they would make a great producer.
The Second Fastest Way to Being a Producer
The last 10 years have made it incredibly accessible to be a Producer. Why?
Equipment and Money. In the old days, to Produce you either needed to have a ton of money or find people who had a ton of money in order to get a movie going. (See above).
Today, everything has changed.
A $650-$1500 camera, some lights, a couple of actors and you’ve got yourself a film set. Instead of having to cut a deal with a Post house to get access to an AVID for $200 a day, you can edit it on your home computer.
You can shoot a movie with a crew of 3 people and one camera. You don’t need to raise a million dollars to make a movie.
Producing starts with your commitment, and a willingness to be in the One in Charge.
There is no magic wand or credential to being a Producer. You just say you are a Producer and you are one. Meet some other filmmakers; find a great script you can shoot for a small amount of money. Find some enthusiastic filmmakers or film students and hire them. Cast some actors. Shoot the movie. Just start the process and start building a team; you will make mistakes and learn from them than in any class at school.
The Importance of Your Game Plan
A Producer finds a great script, brings together a cast and crew, finds money, and helps the entire operation proceed. Most Producers, however, are still uneducated about what is necessary to get a movie sold.
The old model of distribution is dead. Movies with A List actors are going direct to DVD; theatrical space is harder to get than beachfront property on Maui.
The new model of distribution means taking advantage of the internet, and incorporating your movie’s marketing and promotional plan into the entire production. That way, once everyone has finished the hard work of shooting the movie, they are assured that people will see it and the movie has a chance of making a profit.
Feature Film Producer Training
At the beginning level, Producing and Directing roles usually overlap. A Director has to make the production happen as much as a Producer; and the Producer may have to help out with technical positions. It’s just like starting a small business, where everyone helps out to reach a common goal.
There are few resources to learn how to actually Produce your First Feature film. As mentioned in our Film School Reality Check section, expensive Producing programs are a waste of time and money. Graduates usually end up working in Administrative positions or Interning at big studios, nowhere close to producing their first feature.
To learn about our revolutionary new Feature Filmmaking Producing and Directing course, check out our Free Webinar at filmschoolsolution.com.