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MAGAZINE
STUDIO
SCHOOL

Role of the Producer

Lesson 1
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Lesson 2
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Lesson 3
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Lesson 4
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Lesson 5
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Lesson 6
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Lesson 7
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Lesson 8
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Lesson 9
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Lesson 10
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Contributed By Glen Berry

IMPORTANT CONCEPTS
  1. Projects have attachments.
  2. The producer can bring attachments to the project.
  3. A strong script opens doors.
  4. The Producer must have strategic vision.

This is the reason why producers are always looking for good scripts. Many producers have readers working for them, evaluating stacks upon stacks of scripts looking for something exceptional. When a producer finds a script they believe is exciting and original that will appeal to cast, crew and an audience they begin the process of pitching it to potential attachments. First, however, it must survive certain practical logistical tests that we will refer to as “viability testing” which we will discuss in our next article.

So the role of the producer is to find a strong script that they believe they can sell to actors, director, investors, distributors and crew. Finding a script may be the most important part but a producer does not deserve the title unless they can bring all these elements together and shepherd the project through to a successful completion.

The word "successful" is important here. The producer needs to have a strategic vision for the project and know what they want to accomplish with before they begin. The next article discusses the tactical considerations of the producer as he or she moves into pre-production. What we need is a strategic vision that goes beyond just getting the movie shot.

No one else on the project has this perspective. When the movie is completed, what is going to happen to it? We will address this strategic vision in our last lesson but the producer must have an idea of what success looks like in the final, distribution phase of the project before they even say "yes" to make the movie.

Ultimately, this is the most important decision the producer will make. Project selection is critical and there should be a lot of scripts to which you say "no". If you say "yes", you will be judged as a producer by how successful you are at getting the project made and whether or not it does anything when it is completed.

SUMMARY

  • The difference between a project and a script are attachments. Attachments are the necessary resources to get the project completed.
  • A producer has the ability to bring the necessary resources to the project and get commitments from cast, crew and vendors.
  • If you have a strong script, people are more likely to be attracted to your project and makes producing a far easier task.
  • Nearly all other players in the process have a tactical approach to the film. The producer must have a strategic vision.
LESSON
Role of the Producer
The oft-misunderstood role of the Producer as the project architect. Also, the importance of the script, bringing attachments and the producer's strategic vision.
Viability Testing
Evaluating a project to determine the producing challenges before going to production.
Production Management
Setting your shoot date sets the machine in motion that leads to production. This article covers the start of this process and the workflow of pre-production.
Jobs in Pre-Production
Positions in Pre-Production and their individual roles and responsibilities.
Script Breakdown
Breaking out the script for logistical planning into department focused reports; Cast Report, Locations Report, Production Design Report and Scene Report.
Scheduling
The push-pull process of creating a schedule for your production and the importance of smart scheduling.