Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are you the right producer?

How to Find The Right Producer for Your Indie Film

There are a lot of storytellers starting out wondering what exactly a producer does.

At some point you get it.  The re-occurring phrase that seems to settle the debate is that producers produce.

In some way they bring resources to the table that enable the completion of a project.  The lead producer is someone who can speak everyone else's language and move things along keeping his eye on the horizon, the finished project, and the audience it's meant for.

The article provides a perspective from an indie financier that may occasionally be in a position to matchmake a show with an appropriate producer if it feels inclined to do so.  The list provided is a researched list of award winners and obviously the scale reflect a professional level beyond the no/micro budget productions you're used to at the start.

But that doesn't mean the work can't be replicated on our end.  The problem we have is that we don't have the awareness or the market approval on a micro-budget level in order to begin understanding who the players are in our limited economy.

Does that make sense?

There are no best practices for student level marketing and distribution.  There is a terrible lack of discipline regarding no-budget exposure to any audience.  For all the tremendous work done against amazing challenges, few give themselves the opportunity to move up because of the doubt and lack of structure available necessary to gain traction.

This is why gatekeepers are partly the emerging artist's manifestation.  We will create this obstruction and place it upon ourselves as much as the world may be interested in doing so to control revenue.  But it can't exists without compliance, especially now with digital technology and social media evolved to the point it has.

So I want to add to the definition of what a lead producer should be with the understanding that I'm talking to the filmmakers still unknown, still dark horses, still working on their next severely constricted attempt to enter the industry, find someone wildly ambitious, a tiny bit nihilistic and willing to defy conventions of class and privilege.  Find someone who only sees advantages and uses all them while deftly avoiding baseless skepticism and the type of apathy that makes most beautiful things fall apart before they've started.

Realize that those born into the industry or with greater sources don't have to work nearly so hard to motivate themselves.  They're in the room already.  Their type of hunger and desperation is an entirely different animal.  If you're 25 to 35, can't find sustainable middle income employment without selling your soul and need to make this work, you're going to have to get crazy and hold onto other crazy people for dear life.

If we do this, we'll have notable players, we'll have discourse within our community on the styles and capacity of specific people and their impact on local communities, we'll be able to delegate opportunities with greater understanding, the same way the industry does because it sets up all this opportunity for recognition.  If we act the part, it's much easier to step into the position when the time comes.  But it takes a group effort and it takes absolute loyalty to an ideal.

Find your partners, leave nay-saying behind and forge a path.  Then no one can deny you are a producer and can make things happen.


P.S. Article takeaway:
There's a list of indie producers you can research to make a match to your project but follow the guidelines on how to do the homework and I recommend writing a film business plan.  Buy a book.  I've got Jusso's book on it and it's pretty straight forward but it does take an investment to get all the financial projections - a few grand but totally worth it if you want to be the real deal.  You won't have nearly so much doubt in yourself if you do the work and real confidence comes from knowledge which is why knowledge is powerful and confidence is such a big part of the sale.

Or you can try and get lucky and bluff your way through a meeting but the quicker way up usually comes with just as quick a way down.  Just sayin'.