Every film that gets the greenlight is a small miracle. As producers and content creators, we spend 99% of our time killing ourselves to be able to spend 1% of our time reaping the benefit of our own small miracle – shooting our project.
But once you actually get the greenlight and step on set, your real work as a producer begins – and it’s never smooth sailing.
Regardless of how much preparation you might do, production is messy.
Prepare for Battle
I equate it to going to battle. Time, money and the elements are always against you, and as the producer, you assume all of the liability. Your neck is on the proverbial chopping block.
It’s easy to get into the headspace of ‘just getting through it.’ Although getting through it is important, the attitude of maintaining strength, and finishing strong, is what defines you as an effective producer.
Be a General
Successful producers often have a reputation for being sharks, or sometimes even monsters. But that doesn’t mean you have to be either.
In fact, when you’re working on a restrictive budget, and relying on good will and favors, it’s actually important that you not be either of those things. Rather, be a General. Be a producer who commands respect, not one who demands it.
Being supportive, nurturing and humble with your crew will maximize their good will, work ethic and output. But keep sight of the fact that at the end of the day, you’re also the one who will have to reprimand, hold accountable, and often times, fire someone who isn’t contributing positively to the big picture.
Sometimes, you will have to be the designated bad guy.
This is a very challenging dynamic to master. It requires you to be somewhat unemotional in an environment where you are innately emotional about what you’re trying to accomplish.
Be Ready to Pick Up The Slack
Additionally, be prepared to pick up any and all slack across any department.
This is where having prior below-the-line set experience will help make you an effective producer.
One of my greatest points of pride as a producer is that I have the ability, if need be, and with few exceptions, to supplement almost any position on set.
As an on-set producer running the show, no job is too big or too small. You’re the true Key Production Assistant. Your crew will respect you for it and leading by example will motivate your team to elevate their own effort and output to make your project great.
Have a Business Perspective
As the producer, you are the one who ensures that the film will be deliverable. Having a strategic plan of attack from a business perspective is key to finishing and delivering a quality film on budget.
If you’re looking to get your first film made, or maybe even your second, take a look at my free training, Indie Production Essentials: 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Producing a Micro Budget Film. In it, I share 5 common mistakes that can ruin your chances at completing a quality micro budget film and why it’s in your best interest (or not) to make a micro budget film at this time.
Learn how to execute your micro budget film from a business perspective so you can build your career as a filmmaker and keep making films! Click here to get instant access.