Being a producer is about more than creating films and other video content—it’s about managing personalities, people, and time. You need to develop a good understanding of all the moving parts in production and have good instincts. Getting into the industry takes time, but if you put the work in, the results are worth it. Living in Los Angeles, you’re going to be working alongside other determined individuals for every opportunity and chance they get. Your resourcefulness and ability to solve problems is what will make you stand out.
This is crucial; if you aren’t getting yourself out there and showing what you can do, no one will know who you are. You need to take every chance you can get to learn the skills you are going to need to lead a team. This means working on your communication, people management, and time management skills. It’s especially important in an industry where egos run high—knowing how to resolve a conflict can keep a project from coming apart.
You have one shot to make a good first impression. The first time you take the reins on a project, you want to be remembered as the person who did everything necessary to deliver it to the end. Demonstrate to others that you are a person that they can trust to bring a project to completion.
As a producer, you need to be resourceful, tenacious, and outgoing. You need to be ready to develop relationships because, as they say, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” Your connections and how you manage those relationships are going to be what set you up for success. Create relationships that will last and ensure that when they need help, they think of you first.
Next, get ready to be the problem solver. So much of producing is facing and addressing challenges head-on—be prepared to spend a lot of time putting out fires. You need to show them that you are on the ball and your team can trust you. It can be a thankless job, but a good producer can hold a project together.
Be Ready For The Lifestyle
Are you expecting to have a good work life balance? This role might not be for you. You should be constantly trying to find the next project. Often, there is no downtime between finding projects, finding money, finding talent, and putting everything together. Even when you are not working, you are building relationships. Be prepared to embrace the change in lifestyle and be implement strategies to keep yourself from burning out.
Make Your Opportunities Happen
If you wait around for the right job to come, it won’t happen. You have to get out there and make your own opportunity. Turn every conversation into your next career. Don’t wait around; find a mentor and make a job and a name for yourself.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that producers experience all of the success of a project while only doing a fraction of the work. However, many don’t realize that becoming a producer involves spending a lot of time coordinating different responsibilities and people. It’s a challenging job, but those with the instincts, connections, and drive to make it work can succeed in the field.