Saturday, November 29, 2008

Filmmaker Producer versus Dealmaker Producer

There are two types of film producers. One is a filmmaker producer; the other a dealmaker producer. The filmmaker producer likes to be part of every facet of making a film. He is excited about the process of filmmaking and has no problem getting his hands dirty to help make sure the film is running smoothly every step of the way. The electric department needs help moving a light? No problem. The filmmaker producer will jump in and place that light where it needs to be.

The filmmaker producer has strong relationships with screenwriters and directors and crew. Typically, he will forge those relationships on a personal level and will often keep making films with the same writers, directors and crew over the years. They are driven by the creative process and the art of filmmaking. 

On the other hand, the dealmaker producer loves making deals. She enjoys finding projects that she feels will attract a strong deal from a studio or financier. She builds her relationships with studio executives, agents, managers, and investors. Her picks for creative talent are based primarily on who the money people like and want to invest in. She is keenly aware of who is hot and who's not. 

As you gain experience toward your goal of becoming a producer, you will naturally find yourself becoming the kind of producer you want to be. I am a filmmaker producer. I love everything about making movies and enjoy my close relationships with the creative talent with whom I work. Does that mean I don't like doing deals? Not at all. I am happy making deals but it's not what drives me to produce. And I have every intention of making studio films someday; they just won't be driven by the deal. Instead they will be driven by the exciting creative talent I have brought together. Either kind of producer can be incredibly successful. What kind are you?

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