What Does a Producer Do?

Quite a number of people have asked me what I do as a producer.

Answer: I have no idea

While I am being slightly facetious, it’s not entirely false.

Of course, I can name several things that producers do, from raising money to buying (or telling a production assistant to buy) an espresso for an actor and if you want some kind of generalized answer, look at Wikipedia or something.

A producer’s most important job, however, is to get the film to some kind of audience. Yes, making sure the film gets done is important, too. I’m not saying it’s not, but what’s the point if no one will see it? In my opinion, the director gets the film done (with the help and supervision of the producer) and the producer gets it out there.

What a producer does really depends on the film. Every film requires unique promotional strategies.

This leads to what I mean by “I have no idea.”

As the producer for THE EVANGELIST (a film without guns and sex?! Puh-lease), I would say I spend 90% of my time scratching my head, bemoaning my lack of experience, resources, and ideas, wondering HOW DO I PROMOTE THIS THING?

I’ve been reading all kinds of books on how to market a film and get it into festivals. Chris Gore’s The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide has been very useful. What I like most are the interviews with first time filmmakers who have had success in festivals–e.g. Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me). The problem, however, is they are so brief. The general advice is useful, but what about the little bumps along the road? They make it pretty clear that getting a film to an audience is difficult, but no one really communicates the sense of struggle on a day-to-day basis.

Though I’m sure someone has beaten me to the punch, there’s no reason why I can’t document my highs, lows and middles of promoting and finishing post-production of THE EVANGELIST. Hopefully someone will find this useful–or better yet, many find this useful and increase this blog’s viewership.

Did I mention scratching my head, wondering “HOW DO I PROMOTE THIS THING?!”

So here we go.

My daily moans, groans and smiles, as honestly as I can communicate them, in addition to general updates about THE EVANGELIST and its lovely actors/crew.

There are certain things that I will have to refrain from mentioning, because I very occasionally have to lie (did I say lie? I mean…manipulate? Persuade…) to get something done.

Anyway, enjoy. Please comment. Offer advice. Criticize. Comfort me in times of deep frustration.

I have no idea.

But, then again, who does?


4 Responses to What Does a Producer Do?

  1. laura says:

    You’re very candid. Admitting to have no idea will bring you more ideas. Let’s pray and let God give you ideas.

  2. luke says:

    Hey dude,
    You have NYU Stern and better yet Tuck available to you… these are Business schools which can help address the marketing and distribution challenges you face. I propose that you approach these resources with a project proposal (at Tuck we have a required six person 1st year project done in the spring). A team of students could then study the most effective distribution methods for small-budget films.

  3. TJYL says:

    Hey, you may study “The Art of War by Sun Tzu”

  4. Fall says:

    you may study The Art of War by Sun Tsu.

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