Putting together corporate videos takes a leader, someone has to be in charge of the project or usually nothing ends up happening, well nothing good anyway. These people who are put in charge are often given or anoint themselves the title of producer. What does that mean? Well it means you oversee every facet of the production from start until finish and make decisions on everything from budget all the way until the final edit and deliverable. Oh I get it, they do everything. No. Stop right there. Bad producers do everything. Bad producers micro manage every part, stifle creativity, and frustrate everyone else involved. Often these are new producers, they take to their role like a child with a new toy, they don’t know what they want but it’s mine and I’m not letting it go. They tend to alienate members of their team and the product suffers as a result.
But what makes a good producer?
A good producer is someone who knows what they want. If it’s a car commercial, a green screen interview, a behind the scenes shoot, high end real estate, or even a convention video, a good producer will do their homework and find out and strategize what the client is looking for. They will then form a team of the individuals that can best perform each duty that will be needed such as camera, sound, editing, lighting, etc. Then, they will provide direction to the team and let the team do what they do best, create. A good producer will allow each member of their selected team to have input and coordinate with them to make sure the client’s needs are being met. They will address problems as they arise instead of create them. The producer themselves can be creative but their role is more of the coordinator and facilitator of the whole project and good producers know that this is their primary focus. Being the liaison between the client and the video team is extremely important, we all know nothing gets done well and correctly without good communication.
Too often producers want the role of creative, or the role of director or director of photography, or they think they are entitled to make creative decisions. True they are the lead on the project and they should have a great deal of input into the final look and feel of the video they deliver to the client, however, too often they hold onto too much. The best results often come from a diverse set of ideas and not from a single person and a single view point. A good producer knows when to let go and when to take control. That is the most difficult part of the job. So to all those good producers out there, thank you. For those producers still learning, relax and let your people do what they do and most of the time they don’t disappoint.
Oh and the best producers always feed their crew, on time.