When I was first starting out in the film industry, all I wanted to do was create. I wanted to write my own screenplays, direct my own movies, and film my own scenes. But as I grew older, I started to realize something about myself—I wasn't suited for these things, or at least I wasn't as suited for them as my peers were.
I was, however, suited for something else. I would often be having conversations with friends, and an idea would come along. We'd be talking about romantic comedies and how cheesy they are, and someone would say: "how funny would it be if there was a romantic comedy that turned into a horror movie halfway through." Most of my friends would laugh and move onto other conversations, but me, I would think: 'We should make that movie.'
I was great at taking ideas and turning them into actual films or videos. I was great bringing people together to create. I was great at making sure things got done. I was great at producing.
Being an area of film that doesn't seem as glamorous as others (trust me, though, it is a pretty awesome gig) I wanted to write a piece highlighting the skills a producer needs to have. If you see these skills in yourself, you could find that producing is perfect for you. Check them out!
OrganizationA producer is a master organizer. In fact, the whole job of producing begins with organization. Most films start with a producer having an idea or obtaining a script and thinking, 'Yup, this would make a great movie.' From there, a producer must organize a creative team and set the film in motion.
The need for organizational skills continues as producers take charge of things like creating and managing the shooting schedule and the film budget. It is their job to be aware of who is doing what, where, and how much it is going to cost. While everyone else is preoccupied with their individual creative jobs, the producer is making sure that the overall filming process is running smoothly and going in the right direction.
Think of them as managment. Their job is making sure everything is functioning how it should be and handling any problems that may arise. Organization is an absolute necessity as they must keep track of everything that is happening on and off set.
CommunicationHave you ever heard the phrase: "He could sell water to a drowning man?" Being that the last thing in the world a drowning man would want is more water, the phrase means that "He" is really good at selling things.
Producers must be able to sell. They must able to convince and persuade all kinds of different people. Whether it be investors, owners of specific locations for shooting the film, or creatives for the project (directors, screenwriters, cinematographers). But that is just one part of the job.
Producers must also be able to convey their ideas/thought/concerns with ease. Working with so many different individuals, they must understand how different people communicate and act accordingly. If a producer can't communicate well, he can't do his job. (Psssst, here are a few pointers on improving your communication skills).
NetworkingFor a producer to turn an initial idea or concept into an actual film or video, he needs to get the right person for each job. This means knowing every talented individual in every area of film. This means knowing the strengths and weaknesses a specific person will bring to the table. This means knowing who is perfect for a project and who is going to lead it to failure.
To know these things, producers must be masters of networking. They must make sure they leave a lasting and good impression on everyone they meet, so people will not only want to work with them but be excited about working with them.
Luckily, networking skills are easy to build. All you need to do is talk to people!
Do you have these skills? Do you think producing could be for you? Well, we have just the thing to squelch any doubts you may have. Our Emphases Quiz will tell you which area of film is best for you based on your personality and interests. Click below to take it now!