Being a Producer is a daunting task, it takes commitment, stamina, determination, diplomacy, the ability to multitask and stick with it until completion. More than half the film productions I have worked on in my 15 years as a performer have never been completed. Sometimes it’s because of lack of funding, sometimes the project leader (director, producer or writer) gets a higher paying position on another production, sometimes it’s because they lose their excitement or interest in the project once it is in the can and sometimes life simply gets in the way.
Most productions and producers are geared up for the race at hand…the shoot or the first workshop of a play; but most are not prepared for the marathon it takes to complete a production. Post production takes months, sometimes years, including doing the festival circuit and shopping for distribution. Second and third mountings of a play take years to develop as well, each mounting requires funds, a rehearsal period, an run of the production and many times you are working with a different cast each time and have to start from scratch every time you begin rehearsals (unless you have enough money to keep all the same actors on board and even if you do, they might get other work that is higher paying or gives them more exposure).
For the above reasons, many writers and performers don’t want to have a go at being a producer. That is understandable, however, the writers and performers that do produce their own work open doors for themselves that their writer and actor friends are relying on other to open for them. This is why I encourage ALL of the writers and performers I come in contact with to produce their own work and MAKE YOUR OWN BREAK!
It’s not easy when you first start producing, it’s not that much fun either. It’s a lot of stress and responsibility and no one is going to keep you on track with deadlines or motivate you…it is all on you and comes down to sheer will and determination. You will have to wear many hats in addition to producer and actor or writer – sometimes you will have to be the graphic designer, web designer, publicist, production/stage manager, set designer, carpenter, wardrobe, make up, craft services, editor, etc…
In my ten years as a producer I have worn more hats that I have not wanted to, but it simply came down to the production happening vs not happening. Sometimes you are not happy with the work you hired someone to do, sometimes the person hired doesn’t come through…Each time I have opted to do WHATEVER it took to get my production to the finish line. That has included learning how to stumble through programs I didn’t know how to use to edit footage, design websites and logos. Instead of getting frustrated about having to take on more than I wanted to (or even thought I could handle) I just did what I had to do and come through it with one more skill that I could bring with me to the next production.
It doesn’t matter how much funding you have or how many people are on your team, when you are the producer every aspect of the production is all on you.
STOP WAITING + START CREATING = MAKE YOUR OWN BREAK!