The Multiple Hats and Lives of a Producer
March 14th, 2023
Written by Lacie Armstrong / TinDragon Collaborator
People around the world love consuming content. But, something viewers and clients may not understand is how exactly it's created. That their favorite TV Shows, Music Videos, even down to Commercials, all have one thing in common – a strong Producer who can wear multiple hats to lead their assembled crew. Yes, I said crew, and we will touch on this more later on.
A Producer works with almost everyone on a Production. These departments range from the entire production team to the executive level to marketing. There are a variety of different “title-holding” Producers working on any one project, but at the core, they need to be able to work under pressure in a high-stress environment. They often have short projects like commercials or social media content or long term projects such as Documentaries, Reality TV or Feature Films. Some productions can go on for days, weeks or months! A Producer will need to have a variety of skills to be successful in their role.
1. The Many Hats of a Producer
These skills can be described as different hats they might wear during your shoot:
1. Understanding of the Industry as a Business: A Producer needs to understand how media is being consumed the most for their Client. That way Producers can work on creating content that will lead to higher sales and more engagement through their marketing.
2. Leadership: A producer should be able to take charge, see the vision through and communicate well with the whole team, motivate others, and take the lead on decisions.
3. Management and Organization: A Producer will need to have eyes on all departments at all times and be able to make quick decisions to keep a project running. They also will need to organize the balance of scheduling, budgeting, and more as things change constantly.
4. Networking/ Large Rolodex: A Producer will need to have a large network of directors, actors, and agents to put together the best crew for every project.
5. Vision: The ability to bring the clients vision to full fruition. Producers are the liaison between the client and the production from start to end.
6. Safety: Ensuring the Production is safe and following guidelines and safety standards whether that be union or non-union.
7. Storytelling: Producers will need to approve creative decisions, they also need to know how to tell a story from the clients perspective.
8. Problem Solving: A strong ability to assess an entire situation from all angles and use knowledge / resources to find a solution.
9. Knowledge: A producer should be knowledgeable about all the creative processes that go into a project. These include Pre-Production, Production and Post Production.
2. Importance of a Producer
Now that we have covered all these skills, you might be having a “light bulb” moment. A professional Production Shoot is not just a Videographer “run and gun” shooting, setting up lights, running sound, and basically everything listed above. That would be A LOT of work for just one person. A great project takes time, a strong crew, and a dedicated Producer who handles all your everyday Production needs. There is major fulfillment that does come from wearing multiple hats as a Producer.
1. You possess strong leadership skills.
That full inbox means your team knows how important your input is. They look to you for answers because they know you have them, and they trust your judgment. Knowing you have a team who looks up to you, is a confidence boost.
2. You can solve any problem.
A lot of pressure comes with problem-solving — particularly when there’s a “hard out” for an actor or set running behind. Whether you need to find a caterer that can serve gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options, or a prop that wasn’t supposed to break, did, and there was only one available in that size and color - you can find a way to solve any problem and that feels good.
3. You can’t define your job.
Typically your title only really describes one-tenth of what you do in a week. How can you possibly explain this at your next family dinner? You’re involved in every aspect of the project which makes you basically a superhero.
4. You know the strengths and weaknesses of your crew and the members.
Everyone feels like they have a connection with you, and they’re comfortable with you because you’re involved in so many departments. You have made genuine connections across the project, working alongside everyone in a positive setting.
5. You are able to show only one emotion - “calm”.
Having difficulty managing your emotions can pose challenges to you or those around you but emotional regulation is a skill you can develop. A Producer has mastered being in the state of positivity and controlling your reactions and emotions.
Whether you are a client looking to produce a new brand video or a large marketing company who is gearing up to put out content for a long-term strategy —ensure you have a dedicated Producer with a Production Team that can handle the creative vision and logistics of your shoot. Cutting corners never results in a good final product.
TinDragon Media is a great example of a company who truly understands and embodies the standard of professionalism. They not only specialize in producing high quality content through professional production shoots but in order to uphold the promise of meeting the client's vision, TinDragon Media ensures all logistics and elements of production are handled through hiring a Producer / Unit Production Manager.
About Lacie Armstrong
Lacie Armstrong is a Television, Film, Radio and Broadcast Professional with extensive on-set/corporate experience as a Producer, Assistant Director and Production Coordinator. She has worked with TinDragon Media as a Voiceover Actor and Production Coordinator on a number of projects like Smooth Sailing.