First, you have an idea. Then, you write a script. Next, you may even get that script optioned - but what’s after that? How do you find a company or individual to jump on board and actually produce your film or television project? We put together a brief guide on how to do it right, the differences between producing film and TV, and what questions to ask yourself before working with another person or business. Read on, showrunners.
Television Vs. Film Producers
A large film set has executive producers/line producers (EP’s) who oversee a budget, and creative producers, who focus on the artistic decision-making for the film. There can also be co-producers, who are producing a specific set part. Ultimately, the director has the final creative say, but may look to a creative producer for input.
TV shows also have line producers that are “in-charge” of the budget - the big difference here is that a creative producer on a television show is known as a showrunner. Being a showrunner for a producer is essentially a “dream job” for some - however, showrunners work very long hours. You really have to be the right person for this sort of work.
Showrunners can sometimes be the person that created show, but this isn’t always the case; they may also be the head writer. Their responsibilities may include what script you’re on for what day, the location, which scenes are being shot, and which talent is needed on set for the day, among other responsibilities.
Doing Your Production Research
Like any task, you will need to do your research before selecting the best producer or company for your project. What values are you looking for? What is the most important value to you? Keep in mind that you need at least some money to make your movie, pilot, webseries, TV show, whatever it is - so fostering a relationship with a producer or production company is like entering into a marriage. You don’t want to marry someone you don’t vibe with, value-wise. Don’t forget to also get a contract together that protects you, your rights, and your art.
What experience level is your producer at - are they young and eager to get you into festivals, or have they created a name in the biz? Think about what you can afford, and we’re not just talking money here - your reputation is on the line, too. Make sure you’re not compromising if you don’t want to or need to. Your name will be on it, so don’t take on projects you don’t believe in - your producer should feel the same about entering into an agreement with you! After all, their name is on this project as well - and they should appreciate your content just as much as you do.
What has been your experience in producing your own content? Drop us a line, and let us know your insider tips!
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