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Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table

Jourdan Aldredge

Looking to get your film produced? Here’s what you need to bring to the table.

Cover image via Shutterstock.

Are you looking to turn your directorial ambitions into reality? To be successful, you’re going to need to find a good producer to help bring your film to life. While producers work on films for a variety of reasons, minding your p’s and q’s when bringing your project to the table can help you find the best producer possible.

Here are five things every producer likes to see when deciding to take on a project.


Strong Concept

Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table — Concept
Image via Shutterstock.

Ideally, your strong concept is also a strong and well-revised script, but not all projects start out that thorough. However, you need a resolute understanding and comprehensive knowledge of your concept – you can answer every question about the story, the characters, and why the project matters.

Here are some tips for concepting and developing your story.


Storyboard/Shot List

Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table — Storyboards
Image via Shutterstock.

If you’re directing your project, you need to show that you’ve put thought into how you’re going to shoot it and what the shots will look like. Just saying it takes place in space might be too ambiguous for a producer to figure out for you. Once you get into pre-production, you can finish up a working storyboard and shot list with your DP.

Check out these storyboard and shot list resources.


Budget

Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table — Budget
Image via Shutterstock.

Perhaps the most important aspect is that you need to have a budget in mind. Producers can do a lot of awesome things – like even raise funds – but you need to bring a number to the table. This takes into account everything from the type of camera you’d like to shoot on, to talent costs, to the total scale of production.

Budget resources to read up on.


Shooting Schedule and Locations

Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table — Schedule
Image via Shutterstock.

A realistic shooting schedule will help you crunch the numbers as well as find available resources. Your own availability is highly important as well. Having locations in mind, along with a game plan for how to access them, will help you make decisions about which days (and how long) to reserve for shooting — which will affect production times.

Shooting schedule and location scouting articles.


Distribution Plan

Finding a Producer: What You Need to Bring to the Table — Distribution
Image via Shutterstock.

While this used to be a pretty straightforward process, the rise of VOD and many different streaming services is quickly making distribution a subject to keep in mind during the earliest discussions of your project. Shooting for a theatrical release versus uploading online create very different production cycles – also, if you’re looking to shoot a lead-up teaser or anything before crowdfunding, this is where you bring your ideas to the table.

Finally, some film distribution resources to consider.

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