Being a Producer

I was having an interesting meeting yesterday with the agency that is building the website for my project In the Spread. As I was walking out, Max Forstater, the Technical Director for Merge Atlanta, says, "it is great that you actually have a media company that produces media". We laughed. From there, we started taking about how tough it is to actually produce content that gets delivered to market.

What does it mean to be a producer in the visual media industry? According to creativeskillset.org, "Producers are highly self-motivated individuals, who have the final responsibility for all aspects of a film's production. There are so many ways of being a Producer. Very often the Producer is the first person to become involved in a project, even before the writer, or they may be the agent-style Producer who focuses on the deal. Generally though, the Producer shepherds the film from inception to completion and beyond, starting long before the film-making process and continuing to talk about and sell the picture long after everyone else has gone on to other projects."

That definition only scratches the surface of what the job entails. There is so much that goes into creating a project, arranging financing, bringing in all the principles, filming and editing the material, obtaining distribution, marketing and promoting the project. And that is keeping it simple. Talk about a grind...

I have had several people ask me about becoming a producer of films or videos. This always causes me to pause. I think of all the folks I know that went to film school and still aren't producing anything. The world of media production is a hard business to break into, especially if you want to produce your own projects. You do not want to go at it the way I did. That is a tough road to hoe. But, if your dream is to produce films or videos, go for it.

I began producing content with Full Throttle Media just over a decade ago without any formal training. But, I did come with a solid business background, which is hugely important. The one glowing benefit I had was the luxury of taking several years to learn cameras, audio equipment and lighting. I am still learning. And then of course, there is a strong creative/artistic streak that runs in my family, which helps. I also had the benefit, over this period, of being taught the business and legal side of production by a super talented film producer, while living in Santa Monica.

In brief, to all who seek to pursue a career in production, never stop feeding your edge. Find a mentor and suck their brain dry. Study, read, experiment and be prepared to make a lot of mistakes. Nothing teaches you more than screwing up. Just try not to do it on someone else's dime.

At the end of the day, I love what I do and am always willing to help anyway I am able.

Thanks for following,
Seth Horne

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