Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Producers Are Financiers

I don't think there is enough discussion about producers being financiers. Many look at a producer as the leader of the production and integrally involved in the creation of the film, but they don't necessarily look at him or her as the money person. However, one of the largest producing tasks is finding money.

I love movies. I am driven by their ability to change people's perspectives on life. I would love to ignore the money-finding stage and just focus on the fun, creative stuff of making a movie. However, I can't ignore the fact that my main job is finding money. I don't even have to manage the production. I can hire a line producer to do that for me. So really, my main job is being the sugar momma.

I was drawn to producing by the creative desire to help make entertaining films that resonate with an audience. I wanted to make art. I quickly realized though that along with the creative comes the fiscal responsibility of ensuring the budget will be there for the film. This has not been an easy aspect for me. I had trouble selling Girl Scout cookies as a kid. How was I going to sell movies to investors?

With passion, comes confidence. I have such a passion for making films that I am propelled to leave my comfort zone each day and make those phone calls, draft those emails and reach out to others who have money and sell my films. I have come to embrace the fact that I am the money-bags behind the project -- even if I don't find every cent; I know I have to manage it. 

So if you are thinking producing is the career for you, you need to wrap your head around the idea that you need to feel comfortable finding and managing money. You will need to reach out to wealthy people and pitch your work to financiers, production companies and studios. If you don't see yourself finding and managing money, you may want to consider another aspect of filmmaking as producers really are financiers.

1 comment:

Phantom of Pulp said...

Very well said.

I always try driving this point home to people who approach me enthusiastically about producing one of my films. I ask them if they have good relationships with money people, or whether they are prepared to seek these people out and penetrate their networks?

Just liking a script or being able to have a laugh with me is not enough.

Whenever I hear: "Don't worry, the money won't be a problem," I turn on my heel and run.