Producing : Best way to recruit Producers? by Kevin Chambers

Kevin Chambers

Best way to recruit Producers?

I've got a project that is currently in development, it's a SciFi series set in space I'm working on. Right now the plan is to shoot the pilot episode and shop it to film festivals. Just curious to the best way to meet producers on this site or in general. I know some, I'm looking for more experience mainstream producers.

Tammy Hunt

The only way I have had success with getting to mainstream producers has been through their agent or manager. Sending an inquiry with a brief summary of what the project entails and simply asking the agent if their client is open to receiving more details to gauge interest. Of course more often than not you will need to have money into the project and some funding before the producer feels it is worth their time. Good luck! SciFi is my fave genre!

Doug Nelson

Kevin – you’re just up the road from me. While SciFi is not “my thing”, I’d be glad to discuss your project for potential local production with you.

Donny Broussard

Contact the producer through their agent. Make sure the script is in good shape, and prepare to have some money behind it beforehand.

Kevin Chambers

Hi Doug, I'd love to meetup and discuss my project with you.

Shaun O'Banion

Hey, Kevin - Here's your biggest hurdle: For ANY series these days you need to walk in with a credible showrunner attached. That is the magic trick. How can you do that? Well, unless you know a marquee showrunner, you have to blindly submit to agents or managers, as many here have said. Unfortunately, most won't accept "unsolicited material." The alternative is what you're talking about: Just shoot the pilot yourself and hope someone with a bit of power takes a look. Having said that, a series set in space ain't cheap. You're talking about a significant amount of set builds, very specific costuming and, one would assume, a decent amount of VFX... and it all has to look pretty stellar and high-grade. If it comes off cheap, people will be turned off no matter how interesting the story is. In other words, I personally wouldn't attempt it if I wasn't sure I could pull off, at the least, what others in the genre are pulling off these days in their short films. So. That raises questions for me... You said it's "in development." What does that mean? What stage of development are you in? Is there a budget or do you need a budget? Have you raised any financing for the pilot? Do you have any significant attachments (in front of or behind the camera)? When you say you're searching for producers, do you mean you're seeking financiers or are you looking for creative producers? Is there a bible for the series? Between Marvel and new shows like the upcoming MINORITY REPORT series, even network tv is jumping into Sci-Fi material, so you're actually in a good place if the material is strong... Curious what the longline is. Wishing you luck.

Doug Nelson

I have to agree pretty much with Shaun on this. First, you need a story (a very strong story.) Then you need to put it in a properly formatted script. Then you need to get that script into the hands of agents, managers, showrunners, producers… You have been making contacts over the years, haven’t you? You’re willing to put your money into it – aren’t you? You can shoot a pilot on the cheap using cheesy cardboard boxes and Christmas lights as your spaceship with costumes from the Starvation Army. That’s fun for the local festivals but if you are aiming for the pro world – that ain’t goanna work. Making a real, professional level pilot is costly as is the marketing.

Diana Morag Purves

Does it REALLY absolutely have to be a SciFi? Could you not take your theme/story and make it work in a more accessible setting? I have 3 short film projects in various stages of development right now - first cab off the rank will be a short with 1 principal actor filmed in and around my city with what we refer to as a 'micro-crew' (4 people doing EVERYTHING). If your story is robust enough it should stand the test of transcribing it to another setting, even if it does mean ditching the SciFi element that you are undoubtedly very attached to by now. Just by 5 cents.

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