It’s “WHAT DOES A PRODUCER DO” on purpose. Not HOW to produce. A deliberate choice of words.
YOU teach them about the essentials of script-writing and recognizing a good script to work with. You teach them about their team, a schedule and equipment and the importance of editing and so much more….and that all this needs more interaction between those elements than can be imagined. YOU teach them how to get through a first one -usually their thesis or someone elses. They begin to understand collaboration. And, undoubtedly, YOU have taught them the value of their passion vis-a-vis their final product and films that resonate.
I expand the task to include a whole picture – as they will be out of school and in some function facing the journey that takes 18 months to bring a film to fruition on one level or another: what it has taken to find the money or auspices to get it under-way, budgeting well and finely for pre- production, production and post-production, understanding the delivery requirements and marketing a film in the changing medias. And tips on making that journey successfully. To help the participants plug what they already know into the professional landscape..and figure out what they still need to understand. To do it themselves.
This seminar is quite likely the first time a lot of dots get connected by the student hard at work deep in their highly appropriate senior curriculum. Or graduates as they migrate to Hollywood or NY or Atlanta or Chicago. By then they’ve heard a confusing cacophony of words, concepts, phrases, first over-heard or read about, but out of context, not relevant at the time, not related to each other, tucked away to understand later.
They are going to need to fit those pieces together, to speak and think knowledgeably, whether it’s to produce a film themselves or excel as an executive, a director of cinematography or actor. The better they get it, the less they are going to struggle or become hostage to myths that repair their egos but doom them to extra years in Starbucks. They need to know what a bond is and when and why it is used instead of imagining it is an obstacle erected by insiders who don’t want competition (a statement sworn to be truth at a “Financing Seminar” by a furious person desperate to get started.) Or how ‘foreign estimates” are used and when they are, or are not, relevant to your financing. They need to think out what their distribution goals are, and who their distribution favors.
This seminar and follow-up is a means to dispense calm! The myriad “ah-hah” moments have proven to me that it is very, VERY useful.
I have given this lecture to seniors ata number of universities and some stand-alone lectures. To great success. A lot of it will be the content of my book and my webinar, later this year or early 2016. If it interests you to bring me to your university I’d be happy to discuss. The students participation in Q&As keep me on my toes!