Who is the Perfect Producer?

images-30OK, 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.

images-27This 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.

Ben Affleck and producer Grant Heslov accept the Best Picture award for Argo 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

images-32If 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

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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.

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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!

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Bring me Sunshine

images-13I just watched Miranda Hart’s film, ‘My Hero’, about her comedy idol, Eric Morecambe, and found it incredibly moving.

Their head writer, Eddie Braben, said the key word that described their act was ‘innocence’.  Their comedy took us into a world of laughter and child-like gags that never lost their charm no matter how many times you saw them.  Every Christmas we watched their shows, and then watch them again, every time they were repeated.  We grew up on ‘Morecambe and Wise’.

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It is considered proper to grow up gracefully and leave behind such childish things.  Yet in performers we cherish that refusal to grow up and play ball, the wilful retention of innocence.  They are the keepers of our own innocence and so we let them play it out one more time for us.

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I watched ‘Morecambe and Wise’ with my mother the Christmas she was diagnosed with cancer.  When we first heard we walked out of the hospital and across the road to a service station where we bought a large bottle of gin.  The following weekend was Christmas and neither of us wanted to celebrate.  But for an hour, the hour when we watched ‘Morecambe and Wise’, we forgot she was ill and could relax and have fun together.

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As the BBC TV Centre closes, an era is over.  The studios will be closed or hired out piecemeal. The bars and canteens where my mum, as a young actress, used to spot stars like Eric Morecambe and Christopher Plummer, will be empty.

But I hope the innocence lives on.

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What were your favourite TV shows growing up? Leave a comment below or find me @emlin32 on Twitter.