OK, so I am going to Cannes in less than a month with my script tucked under my arm. I am looking for a producer, but who exactly am I looking for? We can all make lists of our favourite films, breakthrough talent and companies we’d love to work with but what are the qualities you need in your perfect producer?
1. They have to get it.
They can be the best producer in the world but if they don’t understand your story or relate to it, move on. Feature film producing takes years of dedication for relatively no financial reward (unless your movie is one of the few that makes it big at the box office). So they have to really want to do it.
2. They have to believe in you.
This is not just to satisfy your need to be loved. They have to believe you can deliver a great shooting script and, if you are a writer-director, that you can make it into a fantastic film. No matter what happens, they have to believe you can do it.
3. They’re persuasive.
They have to convince the people with the money to invest, key talent to come on board, great crew to commit, distributors and broadcasters to buy your film, and you that you can write another draft/move the film from Venice to Venezuela.
4. They’re good people.
Arguably an optional trait in such a tough business, but you need to trust them, and you’re going to be spending a lot of time together. So when the going gets rough you can lean on each other and feel encouraged to keep going.
5. They’re marriage material
If this is all sounding like a relationship that’s because it is. It ain’t no one night stand. The best producers are the ones you go back to again and again, because you love working with them, trust their judgement and respect them because they absolutely know what they’re doing. Or you believe they do…
6. They’re you.
You are your own first producer. If you don’t get your project and believe in it, nobody else will. You have to persuade people to come on board your project and that you can make it happen. You need to be kind to yourself on the winding road of development and be in it for the long run, for better or worse, for richer for poorer…
So I guess I’ve found my first producer. Now I’m looking for a companion. A co-producer who will take my project to the next level.
I’m hearing music… Love lifts us up where we belong…
Rescue fantasies aside – if you find the Perfect Producer, let me know. I’ll buy a hat because it could be a marriage made in heaven.
Check out this list of the newest Top Ten US Producers who are tipped to change Hollywood.
Who is the best producer you ever worked with and why? Or if you’re a producer what do you look for in a writer or director? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @emlin32 . Good luck in your search!