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Episode 58 – What Producers Do

Timothy just got back from producing a big budget commercial in Barcelona, but what did he do all day? This week we talk about the different types of producers, what we thought producers did before we were in the industry and what we have done in the role of producer on previous projects.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


The Daily Struggle

Timothy is back from Barcelona, how did the trip go?

Alrik finished his first project at this production company in SF and talks about what it was like.

The Crypt TV Saga continues as Alrik gets approached with a pretty interesting proposition.

Producers: Who They Are and What They Do

  • What did Timothy and Alrik think it meant to be a producer before they were on set?
  • Producer, Line Producer, Production Coordinator, Executive Producer, what do they all do?
  • What does Timothy do on set as an agency producer?
  • What does Alrik do on a ultra low budget short film set?
  • More thoughts on Producers, what do we think the most important aspects of producing?

Share Corner

Timothy reads two fresh iTunes Reviews, thanks for the love people!

Alrik recommends Comedy Bang Bang on netflix!

Contact Us

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We want to hear from you, find us on Twitter @timothyplain and @alrikb

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Published inCastingDirectingFilmmakingProducers
  • Producers chime in! What do you do on your sets, is this accurate for what your sets look like?

  • Sam

    Hey Tim and Alrik! I’ve been working through your back catalog for the past few weeks, and it’s been a great resource. As someone newly entering this field, your experiences and growth and frustrations as filmmakers are all equally informative. Thanks!

    Since you asked… regarding how to address women in the industry or use gender neutral references: “Them.” Or “someone.”

    It’s that easy, fellas. “The producer found a guy,” becomes “The producer found someone. They are very skilled.” Voila!

    For me, going that extra mile isn’t about avoiding offense (I use ‘guy’ and even ‘girl’ casually as non-specific phrases all the time), but, rather, actively choosing to normalize female presence in the industry. That it’s so easy to default to male terms when discussing film is telling, and perhaps self-fulfilling. For instance, in this very same episode, ya’ll discussed how rarely you’ve worked with or even seen female directors. This is not an isolated issue. As a woman who wants to direct, I hope you can understand how that might concern me. See also:

    My first training was in the biological sciences, and that’s where I’ve worked most of my life. Academia and research *absolutely” have equality problems, but for my part, I’ve experienced gender parity in every lab I’ve worked for. In fact, it’s not unusual to see labs dominated by female scientists, regardless of what pop culture may lead you to believe. The stories I’ve heard from women in entertainment, though… They deal with casual sexism that wouldn’t just be fire-able in any other industry, it’d be unimaginable. So despite all the crap we hear about the “liberal media,” the statistical, professional fact is that entertainment is one of the least progressive industries. And here I am, earning a paycheck in a field where I’m respected, yet knowingly wading into an art I’m passionate about but where I will be more aggressively discriminated against because of my gender. I know this, and am trying anyway. Whether I want it or not, there’s a sense of responsibility that follows.

    Anyway! Love the show, and keep up the good work. I hope the feedback helps, and the rest isn’t to fuss at you specifically, but hopefully to provide context on how complex, chronic problems can rear their heads in the smallest of ways. If you ever wonder why women artists react to what might look to you like a paper cut, it’s probably because they’ve got 999 other cuts already.

    • Thanks so much for sharing Sam! Them, they or someone it is! I can’t promise I won’t slip into ‘guys’ or other less gender neutral words every once and awhile but I hope you realize that a) I do mean to use ‘guys’ as a gender neutral term, although it’s debatable if it actually is or not and b) that it’s really not intentional and that I’m trying!

      Thanks so much for listening and I’m really excited to hear how your transition into the entertainment industry goes. Have you made any movies yet, written anything? Let us know how we can help and thanks so much for checking out the show!

      • Sam

        My pleasure! As I mentioned, it’s not so much about what terminology is “correct” (although it never hurts to be mindful or ask around) as being aware of inequalities within the system and trying to be inclusive, whatever form those efforts may take. Ya’ll asked, so I answered. And personally, I’d much rather people — especially guys like you in the industry — be excited to do things a little differently because the changes help everyone involved, as opposed to tailoring your actions out of fear of doing wrong. Does that make sense? I just think it’s a healthier angle: helping build others up does more good than tearing yourself down.

        I’ve been writing for the last few years (both in prose lit. and recently in film), but it just wasn’t enough for me. I had to get my hands dirty! A group I’m with on the East coast are working on our first film, and I’ve already made some wonderful connections and am having great time — I love expanding my skill-set. Everything I learn is getting me hyped to do more, make more, play a bigger role.

        One avenue of connection was through a writing group I help organize. We do bi-weekly critiques of fiction, and several screenwriters have come through, some of whom I am now working with more closely in our local film community. So: possible future episode idea? Writing Resources, pros and cons. (sorry if you’ve covered the topic already, I’m not quite 2/3rds through your episodes)

        I’m fascinated by how different the writing cultures are between prose and screenwriting, and I’d recommend a prose critique class to screenwriters if they can find it. Some groups are just gonna suck, statistically, but the modern novel has the advantage of being around for a few more centuries than film, and exploring narrative theory outside of your chosen medium is always interesting. Like, I love the short-form podcast Writing Excuses (by four genre authors), and though I often disagree with the mysterious Film Crit Hulk, I always find his essays thought-provoking and sympathetic. I see “Save the Cat!” by Blake Snyder praised as a film-writing guide, but I found it 85% awful. I’d love to hear yours’ and others’ ideas.

        • The two books I found really useful are “The Art of Dramatic Writing” by Lajos Egri and “On Directing Film” by David Mamet. I also started digging into John Truby’s “Anatomy of Story” which has some overlap with Egri and is great for anyone that believes characters are the key to unlocking a story.