A film starts and ends with the producer. The producer is the medium for a project coming together, its total production cycle, and its eventual marketing, release, and distribution. A good producer will grow a seed of an idea into something tangible, significant, and bright on screen. Thus, with all that being said, on an everyday level, beginning from story inception to hitting the silver screen, almost everything is the responsibility of the producer. In short, a producer is an individual who helps in the planning, development, execution, and marketing of a feature film.
- A producer is frequently the person who starts the project by looking for a story. Whether it is a popular book, true story, or topical event, a successful producer is always searching for something fresh and interesting to develop. Frequently, once a script has been written, producers will assist the writer find a director, or find out a way to make the written words come to life by means of a production and film crew.
- After an idea is grasped, the producer will work to develop it from an idea into a concept for a film. A producer will work with a writer and then a script for production, as well as supervise any rewrites. It is essential to think of the producer’s role as that of a quality controller. There is a writer’s vision, and then there’s the producer’s world for that vision to inhabit.
- Possibly the most significant part of the process, a producer will shop a script around to investors and studios to raise funds to make it into a film. Thus, it is significant for producers to be well-connected to the industry. Even if you or your producer is not connected to the industry, it is important that the producer has some connections to people that can assist. Whether that assistance is money or manpower help is help.
- Unless the producer has attached a big name actor to the project, casting is led by a casting director — the director and the producer taking an intermediately-sized role, based on need and knowledge. As the producer is usually the money person, casting decisions frequently come down to his/her call.
- If not working with one already, a producer will examine, find, and employ a director for the film. Choosing a producer, or enabling one to take over a project, means trusting their vision. The person selecting the director requires having the best intentions in mind for the story and the project. It is only after they have hired on the director that the producer will hand over the wheel and take more of a backseat for the rest of production.
- Once the film is done, the producer takes over again. If he/she negotiated and supplied the money, it is more or less his/her product to now sell. A good producer will work with a marketing person (or team) to develop a strategy in building an audience and hype, in addition to submitting for festivals and probably a tour.
Brantley Dunaway, the Producer and Creative leader with 25 years of experience in producing, presenting and the development of works for theatre, feature film, and experiential marketing initiatives. His impacts and projects range from Network Television, Feature Film, Broadway, production touring and branded entertainment for consumer-centric corporations.