Filmmaking / Directing : Advice on finding a producer by Eric Dwight

Eric Dwight

Advice on finding a producer

Looking for some advice. I'm going to be posting a need for a producer to handle the financial aspect of a feature film I'm developing. I was wondering if anyone had any tips as to what type of experience I should be looking for in a candidate. Thanks.

M L.

If I were you, I'd look at comparable films that have been released and acheived success, note who the producers were and look at their background and body of work. Then seek out someone with the same qualifications. You can apply this logic to nearly every position on your crew.

Scott Danzig

Good idea, and... hi MIchael! Nice to see you on here :)

Doug Nelson

Nick - oh, so that's what it means. I was one; they told me my job was to get it shot, on time and under budget.

Mike Stivala

Eric - just want to piggyback on what Nick said. If you don't have a budget done - you'll need one and for that you need a Line Producer or a UPM. The line producer can also pull comps (that's what Michael is talking about) so your potential investors will know they'll have a great shot at making $. Then you can take on a producer to help put a package together (investors, talent, director etc.)

Doug Nelson

Eric, I suspect that finding a producer in Omaha will be difficult but there are a number in some of the larger cities in the mid-west. You mentioned a feature film. What sort of background do you have? Basically, I think you’ve got your shoe on the wrong foot – producers are always on the lookout for top quality scripts – an adept producer will find you if they deem your script worthwhile. Spend a few bucks to post it on InkTip. Best of luck to you.

Mark Simon

Make sure you ask the candidates if they have tracked actuals to the budget. Lots of people make budgets, but unless they have tracked actual costs, their budgets are worthless.

Rafael Pinero

A real Producer should know how to break down a script, make a schedule and make a budget out of that schedule.

Doug Nelson

Eric, I’m not trying to bust your bubble or rain on your parade but there are a few real world realities you need to come to grips with. Firstly, you’re looking for someone with deep pockets to finance your project – what can you offer in return, do you have a track record, is your story marketable, is it producible and how much skin do you have on the line? Just asking.

Erik A. Jacobson

I agree with Doug. Sounds like you're actually looking for financing. If this is your first script, get LOTS of feedback on it -- and I don't mean your mom or cousin -- before you start investing in a UPM or Line Producer or anyone else. InkTip and Stage 32 are good places to start. And be sure to take advantage of the many inexpensive seminars offered on this site dealing with all aspects of development and production, including the financial side. Yes, it is possible to produce your own scripts/films. But your question shows you're far from ready to do that.

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