A Producer’s Purpose
We all see the title, “producer,” in movie credits, but what does a producer actually do? If asked, the majority of the public would most likely say the producer is the head honcho — the man with the microphone reclining in a chair with an iced mocha frappuccino like depicted in the movies. In reality, though, these stereotypes are far from the truth. The life of a producer is much less glamourous. Sure there’s the rush of production, and the coffee is definitely still there, but a producer’s position is to support every part of the production body, rather than just being the head figure. In the producer world, there are three fundamental, core responsibilities — cast vision, handle logistics, and support the team.
Cast The Vision
Just like a parent being handed their newborn child for the first time, at the beginning of the process, projects are given into the waiting arms of producers. It is their responsibility to cast a vision for the project — a plan of action that will bring it and the whole crew from pre-production all the way to Delivery. The crew for the project is chosen during this stage as well. It is up to the producer to choose the right people who will be able to understand and create the vision set beforehand. Just commanding everyone is not enough, though. The crew must be personally enthralled in order for the project to be a true success. It is the producer’s responsibility to pitch to and inspire each member of the crew with the idea of any project. Once the crew is onboard, then the real work can begin.
Handle The Logistics
Now, this is it, this is the part where we get on set and start calling “ACTION,” right? Actually, in reality, a producer’s larger responsibility is to handle the logistics. It falls on the producer’s shoulders to have the bigger picture in mind. When the details have all been sorted, then true creativity can happen. Also, when the producer is handling the logistics, he or she ensures everyone gets their coffee!
Support The Team
For most people, supporting the team means being the all-star, giving it your all, and being the one to make the play. But, for good producers and directors, supporting the team sometimes means getting out of the way. A word of wisdom I once heard was, “a producer’s main job is to create the ideal circumstances so that the rest of the crew can do their job the best.” Sometimes, this means stepping out of the spotlight. It means even if your editor is pulling an all-nighter and there is nothing that you can possibly do to help, you still stay the whole night just for support.
As a producer myself, I compare my job to being a parent. There are moments when you need to hover and there are times when you have to let them walk on their own. What some people would say is the worst part about being a producer, for me, is actually the main reason I’m a producer — we are there from the very beginning of the process to the the bitter end.
Isaiah Farr is an 18-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri. He is an aspiring writer, producer, director attending the Center for Creative Media as a production apprentice. Isaiah is the owner of multiple flannels, he believes in consuming hot cocoa before breakfast and after dinner, and a massive supporter of random dance parties.