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What does a Producer Do?

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942491_545065375539948_547289861_nThanks to Stoyan’s invitation I had opportunity to attend extremely interesting workshop “What does a Producer Do?”  with  Danish producer Troels Faber. This event was organized by Aarhus Short film Challenge festival that takes place now in Aarhus. Troels also presented his video ”Beast” that won a lot of international film awards.

I hope this post will be interesting for film- lovers.

So here are some notes from Troels’ presentation.

Producer’s tasks:

  • Creative partner to Director and /or Writer
  • Responsible for process from idea to finished film
  • Responsible for financing
  • Responsible for hire
  • Sometimes distribution/sales
  • Someone to open new talents/stories
  • Pitch and packaging: to actors, investors, team, (sales)agents

Producer is:

  • Always curios
  • Someone who’ll take a chance – both money/ story
  • Find out how to dialog between Producer – Director, what it needs to be?
  • Why is this project?
  • Find healthy balance of projects
  • One project is not enough
  • The one who needs to find out where the Director/ Writer wants to be in 5/10 years
  • Never forgets the audience (with them they are nothing)

What can producer do wrong?

  • Not listening
  • Not keeping the team updated on what ‘s happening with project
  • Unrealistic deadlines
  • Lack of finance
  • Not reading script properly

Also Troels was talking about some tools that producers and film makers need in their work, if you just start to make your videos it will help you

Creative parts in script

  • How long is the script, how long will it take to shoot
  • Programs you can use– Movie Magic Scheduling ($, there are a lot of web-sites where you can buy this program), Celtx (free)
  • Known film history, dramaturgy and how to read a script
  • Being able to come up with ideas, changes to script
  • Read short story novels to start with
  • Go to local and international festivals
  • Be able to work with different kind of people/ personalities
  • To be open to fresh talent/ story
  • Not to be afraid to speak his mind
  • Find out if Director/ Writer want to work alone. Why? Does it work for producer?
  • What kind of producer do You want to be?
  • Remember to be as professional as you can be
  • Learn by failing

The team

  • Making work a safe place (= creative place. Everyone can contribute ideas, but only Director makes the final decision)
  • Choose who will be in the team (to choose professionals, the one who can work best in this specific project)
  • Where does the idea come from – original idea/ novel / article, from Director/ Writer, but to make sure idea is “owned” by all – the way to do so to discuss idea with team before starting shooting process

Financing/ funding your project

  • Lear your local film funds – can you have support from them?
  • Film funds in your country
  • Companies in your country – what kind of films do they support/ produce
  • International film funds
  • Make a promo trailer
  • Build trust, make people believe you
  • Describe how this’ll be a success
  • Don’t lie!
  • What people funding you get in return


Marketing tools

  • Marketing before you make your film – use Indiegogo/ Kickstarter to see if you have an audience
  • Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Poster one or two trailers
  • Rewrite your synopsis for marketing
  • Make 1000- 5000 postcards, travel with them to festivals

Distribution of short film

  • Check festivals you need to be at (see topic and rules of the festivals and if your film matches them)
  • Vimeo, youtube (only after festivals)

Hope this information was useful for you, and next year you will come to Aarhus yourself and win awards from Aarhus short film challenge festival!

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