The Next Clint Eastwood: How to Become a Movie Producer

When people imagine the glitz and glam of working in the arts, too few are attracted to the idea of being a film producer. A producer is something like the conductor of an orchestra, and the process requires the touch of an artist with the organizational skills of an entrepreneur.

If you’re looking into becoming a movie producer, we’ve got a few tips for you. It’s not likely that you’ll start out big, but any film that requires a producer is bound to be a big operation.

So, before you start the undertaking of producing a film, read our guide on what’s needed.

Want to be a Movie Producer? Here’s What You Need

The traditional view of a producer is someone who simply provides a wide-load of cash fund all the various requirements of making a film.

This is certainly one part of the job. In a lot of cases, finding funding requires that a producer is in touch with individual investors. When you’re on the small scale, this is going to be a huge piece of your total funding.

All of your funding may actually come from individual investors or out of pockets in your first film. You can always get the community involved with a crowdsourcing site and posts on social media. If you’re entrenched enough to round up actors and directors, you’re likely to have a little pull in the community.

So, the first step of producing a film is gathering the funds needed to cover a film and all it entails.

Story Discovery and Rights

Another fundamental piece of your work as a producer is going to be finding a story that you want to pursue and turn into a film.

This typically comes in the form of a novel, a screenplay, or a short story. There are a million places to source your story, though. The crucial piece after you make the decision is getting the rights and ability to use that story.

The creator or author of the story may have a number of demands and costs associated with using their story. That may mean a piece of the profits or an upfront fee. In some cases, you may not be able to get the rights.

Finding a Director

You’ll also need a director that shares your vision on some level. The director you choose is going to have a significant effect on the way that the story is translated into film.

That means the tone and style will be directly impacted by the person you choose to direct the film. If you have a specific style or tone in mind, be sure to look over a director’s past works and see if they align with what you’re looking for.

You should also be sure to find someone that you can work well with. You’ll be doing a lot of communicating with this person, and they will arguably be your second in command over the whole project.

Organizing Efforts Before They Happen

A massive element of the producer is getting everything that the film requires in order before it even happens. This will require a lot of coordination with the director to be sure you know what scenes will require what.

Unless your film takes place in one room the entire time, you’re going to be making some phone calls. Comb through the script with your director and identify any scenes that will require you to be in public places or establishments.

It’s essential that you call establishments and check with your city to make sure that you’re in the clear to shoot in specific places. If you forget to do this, you could be looking at long wait times for permits and permissions. It’s a big deal for a business to shut down for any period of time, for example, so you will need to be in close contact with those establishments before you shoot.

Additionally, you should have clear and fair agreements with the actors you will eventually hire. Everyone that works for you will expect a professional working relationship, even if you’re personally friends with that person.

The point is, the last thing you want is for the entire operation to turn into a joke that eventually crashes and burns. Disorganization is going to be a real killer in this situation. You need everyone to be relatively happy and you have to be sure you can shoot where you plan to.

Be as meticulous as you can here, and make sure that you’re at the helm when organizational issues arise.

Casting and Hiring

You’re also going to be in charge of coordinating the casting process. This typically involves sitting down with your director and holding auditions.

You and the director can both be there in order to have a unified vision of the actors and how they’ll fit into the script. The same goes for hiring any additional staff you may need.

This means sound and film professionals.

Editing and Distribution

You should also have an eye on the post-production process where your team will cut and edit the film. Because you’re the producer, you’ll have a say over what stays and what gets cut.

Finally, you’ll have to be in charge of distribution. That means the production of physical copies of your film as well as the cinemas that your film will be played in. Further, you’ll need to promote the film online and elsewhere.

When you’re working on a relatively small scale, the cinemas you choose will probably be smaller, local ones. You may be able to get a showing or two at a larger cinema if you’re lucky, but you’ll have to use your networking skills and a little charm.

Need More Information?

Becoming a movie producer or actor is a tough thing to do. It’s important that you get help where you need it and keep a positive attitude through the process.

If you’re interested in help or more information on the entertainment industry, contact us about coaching today.

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