Producer = Protector

Crack Stage Management Team - UAE

Crack Stage Management Team – UAE

Protect your Creatives

Protect Your Creative Relationships

Protect your Product and Production

You’re the Producer: so Produce. Your job is to protect the Creative(s) from the Barrages of Reality as Concept and Vision evolve and develop into Experience.

Your job is to protect the budget from the wild and expensive ideas of your Creatives when approaches less grand might even be more effectively evocative.

In the absence of a Creative Director or Director, your job is to wear both hats and to exhibit and engender respect for and from both camps; ultimately creating a team out of the technical production side and the creative development and interpretation side.

You don’t know everything; don’t pretend that you do. Producers who pose as knowing it all just give Producers a bad name and certainly don’t find themselves embraced by their creative or technical teams. Get advice from those whom you trust. Develop relationships with creatives whom you respect or admire and with whom you can share ideas and insecurities. Do the same with technicians and engineers, designers and choreographers. Build your cabinet.

A good producer knows where to get the best answer and when s/he’s getting the best result or product. The better the team, the better the producer.

Take credit for recruiting the right people. Give credit freely and unhesitatingly to those who really do the work. The more you give credit and acknowledge source and inspiration, the better you look and the stronger your relationships will be with the teams you build. Become known for the teams you build and what they create.

Do not manage by committee. Just don’t.

Your job, as fulcrum for the production, as Protector of Creative and Budget, as Shepherd of the Show is to protect all processes. This is how you will protect your budget and your relationships as you work to achieve and present the best, possible Experience.

You’re unsure about a component of the show? Share your dilemma with your mentors, a friend, other creatives. Then, you take and absorb that feedback in the context of the overall vision for the show and decide what is valuable, relevant, pertinent. DO NOT UNLEASH THESE PEOPLE ON YOUR TEAM.

One Point of Contact.

Your job is to filter the input and share what is appropriate with your creative, production or technical professionals. You are the One Point of Contact with the world outside the Production. Your duty is to protect that relationship at all costs.

You’ll discover two, distinct benefits to this process…

  1. Your team will trust and appreciate you; resulting in a more candid “in-house” give-and-take and sharing of ideas as concepts and approaches evolve. You can share an idea you’ve gleaned from another source and get candid, honest feedback from your creatives without risking offense to your external source. You can then, with integrity, make informed decisions in the context of your project and vision and continue to massage your project in line with that understanding and appreciation.
  2. You protect the clarity of the vision. Remember, irrespective of the esteem in which you may hold your mentors and advisors; their advice is based on limited exposure to your concept and approach. Listen fully, consider thoroughly, but only adopt and share what truly makes sense. You must be the filtering arbiter, period. You.

Above all, do not allow “committees” of people to offer input to your project to anyone but yourself. And, by “committee,” I mean anyone but you. There are few ways more sure to derail a relationship or project than allowing direct input from more than one person. The net effect is nearly always deleterious to your project, diluting potential potency, and will definitely undermine your working relationships within the team.

Trust, once broken, can never be fully restored.


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5 thoughts on “Producer = Protector

  1. The one-point-of-contact thing really is critical. A couple of other things that happen with diffuse communication:

    Conflicting critiques — a couple of executives may have directly contradictory opinions. They deliver their reactions independently and expect results. This leads to creatives acting as liaisons, taking sides, or believing the process had broken down (which it has).

    In addition, specialists can create difficulties by delivering their criteria without regard for the rest of the show — I was once on an entertainment project in which the PM gave equal voice to a guy way upstream whose central role was leasing real estate. So the entire design ended up geared to making it really easy to swap out retail tenants.

    You need communication to flow through the point man — the filter.

  2. Bingo. …and the waste concomitant to poor management of this process can be almost criminal; from dilution to complete failure to meet objective. We’ve all seen the importance of the integrity of this process being dismissed by the inexperienced-with-“power,” and it inevitably affects the final result, adversely. More on this in Part Deux, next week… 😉

  3. I am also a firm believer in One Point of Contact… live by the sword and die by the sword.. if all goes well –you get the glory… if it goes to hell in a hand basket… well, take the heat as you deserve… a producer is a baby sitter for sure…
    Great article KO….

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