How to Start a Career in Line Producing

Hosted by Michael Mandaville

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Michael Mandaville

Webinar hosted by: Michael Mandaville

Line Producer (Taken 1-3, Havoc, The Kiss)

For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It might not be as celebrated or widely known as the role of director or actor, but there is no way a film or project can get made without the work of a line producer. It’s the line producer who puts the pieces together to make sure a film can be made in the first place. The line producer creates the budget, assembles the crew, and builds out the schedule. This makes the work of the line producer vital because no matter the size of the project, it just can’t be complete without this day-to-day preparation. As a result, if you’re able to become an effective and shrewd line producer, it can be worth its weight in gold and offer you a lucrative and long-standing career in the film and TV industry.

The job of a line producer certainly involves its fair share of number crunching and pre-planning, but it doesn’t end there. A large part of the job is to understand the ‘path of compromise’, which is especially necessary in the independent film and indie streaming worlds. The director will often have may have a vision or demands that exceed the resources and funding available, and it’s up to the line producer to find the middle line and retain the artistic vision without going outside of the project’s financial means. This is no easy task, and excelling in this area is what separates the great line producers from the rest. But how do you develop this skill? And how can you break into the field of line producing in the first place?

For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.

Michael will walk you through the role of line producer, how to find opportunities and how to best to succeed in this position. He will begin by explaining the reason for the line producer position and how it differs from the role of unit production manager. He’ll go through common challenges of the line producer and how best to overcome, including mastering the “Line Producer Mindset”. Next Michael will explain what the career pathway looks like for aspiring producers and how you can find opportunities in the microbudget, independent and studio worlds. Michael will dive deep into the line producing process, going into scheduling, budgeting, and dealing with rates. Finally he’ll provide tips on how to find work as a line producer.

 

Through Michael’s rundown, you’ll leave with a much clearer idea not only to how to find work as a line producer, but how to succeed and build a career for yourself once you do.

What You'll Learn

  • Reason for the Position
  • Line Producer v. UPM
  • Authority
  • Challenges
  • Line Producer Mindset
    • Skills you will need to have in order to line produce
    • Navigating left brain and right brain
    • Working with crew & managements
  • Career Pathway
    • Opportunities for microbudget
    • Opportunities for independent
    • Opportunities for studio
  • Intro to the Line Producing Process
    • Indie Project Questions
      • Thinking with Project Related Math
    • Scheduling
      • What's expected in a line producing schedule
      • Top level, brief overview of Movie Magic, it's features an how you'll use it
    • Budgeting
      • How to determine cost for a project
      • Resources to determine costs
    • Rates
      • What unions you will work with
      • How to navigate the unions
      • Where to find costs
  • How To Find Work as a Line Producer
  • Q&A with Mike

About Your Instructor

For over 25 years, Michael Mandaville has worked as a line producer on countless projects, ranging from shorts and independent features to large blockbusters like the TAKEN, TAKEN 2 and TAKEN 3 starring Liam Neeson. His other producing credits include HAVOC with Anne Hathaway, THE KISS with Terence Stamp and Billy Zane and AMERICAN HISTORY X with Edward Norton. In addition to producing, Michael has directed commercials, shorts, a documentary and industrial films. He has also worked on MANAHI, an Arabic language comedy which was the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Michael’s long history in the world of line production makes him the perfect person to speak to this industry, and he’s keen to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.

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