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While I agree that producers are not ATMs, I think it's an exaggeration that producers want to be there from the beginning. Sure, the producer doesn't want to tag after other producers, but they don't work from thin air. (or if they do, then they'd probably approach the writer/director and not the other way around, right?)
There has to be something, usually a completed and copyrighted screenplay (well researched and all the rest of it), to say yes or no to. Simply saying "I have an idea" is nothing, there are plenty of ideas out there. I suppose after the writer and director have track records making features (or at least novels you can find at the library) then maybe there's a chance to get through without a script, but even then you'll need a good pitch.
The best analogy I've found somewhat encouraging, for my experience, is a comparison to dating; finding the right person who has similar tastes, values, and career goals and developing a partnership.
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