Soundsight Summer School: Producing -


Let’s kick off this week with another round of film school! Today we are dipping into the role of a producer. Producing is seen as one of the most “mysterious” parts of filmmaking. People always ask “what does a producer do?” and it is not the easiest question to answer. In the words of American film producer Larry Turman, “[they] make things happen”. A producer juggles all of the small and large components of a film from start to finish. A film cannot be made without a producer and although it is not usually a job people actively seek out in the industry, those who land in such a role find themselves in love with the work that they do. Consider a producer the person who helps everything about a film go smoothly, this includes all financial and creative aspects of the production. There are many different types of producers that have different titles along with varying degrees of responsibility. Producers, executive producers, co-producers, and associate producers are all people that help bring the film to fruition. Producers straddle the line of the business of the industry and art of the industry. With all of this in mind, let’s dive into how to become a producer!

Are you ready to become a producer? First you must know your strengths and understand where you need improvement. You need to know how to market yourself and someone who can successfully get the job done. Without knowing how to market yourself, you’ll fall flat when it comes to doing the same for a film. Write now is the best time to focus on your skill sets, work on your time management and organizational skills because that are the most important parts of producing. You don’t need to write a feature length film right now, take smaller steps to get there. A great exercise would be to come up with an idea for a short film (five minutes or less) and do all the necessary research to how you could produce it. Pretend that you have been given an unlimited budget! Who are you hiring? Who do you want to act in this short? Who do you want to direct it? Consider where the film will be shot and how long it will take to make. Also consider the audience, who will this be marketed for? What countries will this short thrive in? Will you sell it to Netflix or another streaming service? Now pretend that you were given a very limited budget and do the exact same thing. Keep this exercise in mind as you look at the resources below:


Youtube Videos and Channels


  • The Filmmaking Stuff Podcast
  • Show Don’t Tell: Micro-Budget Filmmaking
  • Product Management Meets Pop Culture
  • The Producer’s Guide: Todd Garner & Hollywood’s Elite
  • Film Pro Productivity & Success

Since productions are on hold, right now is the best time to engage with the industry. People in the industry finally have a chance to talk about it and its future. You should know what’s going on in the field right now. Just as med students follow the changing world of medicine, business students may track the stock market as a future filmmaker, you need to also understand the industry. Currently some of the big points of discussion are distribution and the decline of movie theatres as well as the rise in smaller production companies. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry and ask for advice, you don’t need to DM a millionaire director on Instagram or Twitter try talking to local production companies instead. It’s time to look at films in a new way, watch your favorite films and look at them from a producer’s eyes. Do some research: How was that effect done? Could this movie have been made just as well with a smaller budget? How many days did it take to shoot that scene? Now that you have changed the way you look at films, think about your goals and why you want to work in this industry. How do you want to grow as an individual and as someone who enjoys the craft of filmmaking?

Next week’s article is Cinematography, get those cameras ready!