Task one – Producer

Introduction

In this task I will be looking over the roles of producers in the; film; video and tv industry. The purpose is to demonstrate my understanding of producer through findings and previous experiences. I will also be comparing the roles of producers through difference in industry highlighting key differences.

Originating and Developing Ideas

A producer is often the person first on set and will work closely with the director and writing team. A producer will often follow the project from start to finish; this is because they have put a lot into the project and would like to look after their investment withing out the project changing from the pitch that was made to them.  As many producers have experience in many areas their knowledge is often appreciated when putting together a project or team. They look for  USP’s and special project; maybe something that has not been done before or something that will be striking towards an audience.

T.V and film producers are usually pitched an idea for a new project in terms of a short synopsis that best describes the project in an understandable format. The second phase is for the producer to now read a much more broader description which is usually two to ten pages long which will also have a snappy description which is usually read as two lines called a log-line that acts as a clincher for both the first an second part of a synopsis.
When thinking how these two differentiate at this stage would be what audiences that are trying to sell to: T.V producers are more fixated of keeping programmes that fit in with their network’s identity; where as film producers can use their experience to a wider selection of audiences and it would be rare for a film producer to stick in one genre of film or audience unless he or she knew that there was a great deal of profit to be made.

Pitching for Commissions

It is a key part for producers to use their methods to come up with ways to fund a project and both t.v. video and film will have their own methods of doing so. Firstly, a producer could aim to fund a project by himself which is commonly seen in Hollywood. This could mean that they would not have to split profits with a network station or other investors and would rightfully keep the entire of the ratio awarded to them. Sometimes a number of producers will scrape together to get things going and will then pitch to companies to settle the last of the budget (this is why a number of producers can be seen in the credits; one being the fundraiser and the other handling the responsibilities).
Pitching to clients is all about the technique and skill involved in selling your product. You need to first understand what you are selling before even thinking of arranging a meeting. You need to know competitors or even similar products that have occurred over the past 20 years to truly be able to pitch for commissions.
T.V. producers will have the same task although they are pitching to a client that already has specific demands and even though the programme may be profitable it wont be accepted if it does not meet with the terms of the company. Usually networks will not show new producers the time of day which can be extremely exhausting. Therefore it is a good idea for producers to do their research into their clients before pitching an idea to them. Such things could be the credibility of the client or the reputation and history of broadcasts made by the network.
Video producers would not have as many limitations as a television show; a like to the client they have to understand the true nature of the video and what are the achievements it is setting out for, but unlike T.V. and film the client should be easier to work with and less forgiving about the experience of the producer.  Like a music video or advertisement this again isn’t always subdued as much by the client or imposed by a company and can inherit more flexibility.

Finding Funding

Producers can rely on themselves or other producers to fund a project; they may have to look for outside investors i.e. companies etc. It is always a risk for these investors because there is no guarantee that the project will make a profit and it involves having their money seized and locked away from them for long periods of time; 3 years for film and less for t.v. and video. In the documentary ‘Home’ hundreds of companies like Adidas and Nike invested into the making and production of the movie so it could be finished. Film t.v. or video producers all have the responsibility of funding a project from start to finish and will need realistic figures to work with.
From the programme ‘Rambling with..’; they explain some producers to be simply investors who do not take on the desired responsibility of most film producers:- which has brought many questions to the trust between director and producers i.e. if a producer really cares about a film makers workload and if he or she is purely here to see their money grow. (Proof in youtube link at top of page)
A television producer would have support from a network which means that they may not need to look far for subsidising their programme. It is the networks responisibilty and will either buy the rights to the programme or provide support for producing it ( with payments made to them)

Coordination of Project

A producer is usually thought of the direction of a project as it is their money that has usually driven the projects entirety. They need to have skills in overseeing projects and have an attention to deatail meaning that they need to be both aware of the final outcome and small problems along the way that may affect it. Producers are known to work extremely close with directors and writing staff because of the shear control and affect they have over the program, video or movie.
Producers need people skills as the nature of their works needs them to be able to; arrange meetings; make decisions; converse; problem solve and in general making things happen. They can be seen as outsiders but are usually individuals that will float in and out of areas to coordinate a project.
Video producers would usually take on less responosibilty as a film producers but whom’s duties do not change. For example it may be their role to have daily plans for everyone involved; be them actors or chiefs and will need to organise such things as accommodation. The difference being that a video will naturally take less time and require a shorter schedule where as film will require plans set daily over a course of a couple of years.

Health and Safety

Working on a set may involve grueling hours and require a number of plans toward health and safety: It could be that staff has special requirements that will be as part of a database when going through the casting and employment stages. Or it may be that a certain operation needs attention to detail i.e. working on set with animals or making an action sequence. What ever the nature of the issue certain actions need to be taken to ensure a safe working environment.
A film set can have a number of individuals specialising in one area at the same time it is health and safety that acts to protect people from dangerous situations. There should always be an individual on set who knows health and safety and if there is not a producer should step in or look to employ someone to handle this task.
A t.v. network will always look to have their programmes or broadcasts have strict health and safety checks as if they were liable for an accident the network potentially has a lot to lose. A producer will be expected to ensure health and safety is present but may find comfort in a network that has already had previous health and safety checks for a number of broadcasts.
Video producers may be more on their own when it comes to health and safety but will still have members working for or with them to enable any dangerous situations.

Risk Assessment

A video set could prove to be less demanding than assessing a film set due to the number of expected locations that a film set inherits. Although

Compliance with Regulations

Compliance with Codes of Practice

Distribution

their skills can often be used to benefit others.  They already have knowledge and experience of the market and will be able to shed some light towards other peoples work. They do not get paid for the work they do around set only get a share of the profits that are made afterwards.

The role of the producers is to act In a number of ways to help ensure the final product is released. They will often be the first person on a film set and be asked to come in before there is a set. They are there sometimes there before the writers and will undergo roles of management and overseeing the project start to finish.

As a producer main focus is how much a film costs and much it makes. Because of this they have to deal with a series of topics such as the attraction it will have toward its views and if the success of the project will be in affect from the initial idea. A producer will have to decide it he or she goes with an entail idea. Many procurers will have their own idea of which products to look for and buy into; one key issue could be if the product has a USP; another could be the ratio out come of the project will be or simply how long it is going to take.

what ever a producers attraction to the start of a project the entail idea is prone to change often changed because of issues with timing or budget it is the producer can have say over the project as it is their investment. Either way a producers talent to over see a project will ensure them that everyone is still achieving the same qualities that the project had set out for.

http://www.fresh-voices.com/producers-seeking-reality-show-ideas.html

http://www.itvjobs.com/working-together

http://www.tvwritersvault.com/creating/CreatingIntro.asp

http://www.tvwritersvault.com/creating/Create_and_Pitch_Reality_TV_Shows.asp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/tv/pitching-ideas/e-commissioning.shtml

http://www.howstuffworks.com/tv-pitching.htm

http://sohinidas.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/top-5-mistakes-producers-make-when-pitching-tv-shows/

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