HARVEY & QT PRODUCE. (Want to Produce? Learn the 5 Categories. I was #5)
by Dov S-S Simens on April 26, 2016
5 TYPES OF MOVIE PRODUCERS:
So you want to Produce? Or rather you must Produce because you have this great idea and the thought of it not happening keeps you awake at night… but you’re not a director, and you’re definitely not a writer, and you sure-as-hell ain’t the Cinematographer or Editor… so what’s left for people like you with great ideas… guess you’re the Producer.
Okay, but which type?
Are you the Deal-Maker Producer or the Filmmaker-Producer or the Idea-Producer or the People-Producer… And do you know the differences?
Technically, there are 5 types/classifications of Producers that secure 5 OTCs (“Opening Title Credits”) of a Feature Film or TV Series. which are usually single title cards.
They are the:
- EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
- LINE PRODUCER
- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Now, which one are you?
FIRST, PRODUCER: No film ever gets made without a Producer. However, 95% of all producers have never gone to a 4-year film school. Why? They don’t need all that unnecessary technical crap. They have a business instinct, a common sense and a feeling for what is commercial or not.
The Producer, is a dreamer, a visionary, a businessman who wakes up one day and says, “I have an idea”.
He/she then takes that idea and gets the treatment, then the script, attaches actors, gets a budget, and brings it to, or partners with someone for, financing. Then he/she oversees the shoot, the edit, selects a festival and, hopefully negotiates with distributors.
SECOND, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Also an Opening Title Credit (OTC) is usually the person who the Producer goes to when he/she has a financeable package (Script, Budget, Talent commitments, Key crew, etc).
The Executive Producer, doesn’t write any checks, but knows how to navigate the world of movie money to secure the investors whether from a Private Placement, a Crowd Fund, a Studio Deal, International Pre-Sells, Government tax Incentives, etc. The Executive Producer, is usually, but not always, an entertainment attorney.
THIRD, CO-PRODUCER: Eventually the Executive Producer, with the legal work finished to solicit investors, according to SEC rules, introduces the Producer to investors and knows how to close deals.
Now, if the Producer is successful in securing a financial commitment (5%, 10%, 25%, 100%, etc) from an investor it is fairly common that the investor, with emotion, will ask “Do I also get any credit?”
What are you, basically broke Producer, going to say, “No”. Of course not, you know darn well your answer will be, “Sure” and what the investor gets is a Co-Producer credit, after the Producer credit and the Executive Producer credit.
And remember, if you have more than 1 investor you can have more than 1 Co-Producer. Big-Budget studio feature usually have 1 Co-Producer for Europe, 1 Co-Producer from Asia, 1 Co-Producer from Latin America and 2-3 Co-Producers from America, who are either wealthy individual or networks or studios.
FOURTH, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: This is the credit that nobody in Hollywood wants. For everybody knows that an Associate Producer basically does “nothing”.
What does an Associate Producer do during Pre-Production? Answer: “Nothing”
What does an Associate Producer do during Production? Answer: “Nothing”?
What does an Associate Producer do during Post-Production? Answer: “Nothing”?
What does an Associate Producer do during Marketing and at Festivals? Answer: “Nothing, nothing, nothing”
So why do we have this credit?
It’s the freebie credit, the giveaway credit that you give to someone who merely introduces you to money.
It is also (no joke) a good credit to give your girlfriend or boyfriend or for an investor who is not smart enough to demand a Co-Producer credit.
You can have numerous Associate Producer names on your film and it will not dilute the credibility you want for Producing.
Many Crowd Funded movie projects on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo are offering 100 Associate Producer credits for $100 to $1,000 each.
FIFTH, LINE PRODUCER: Every now and then a savvy Executive Producer or Investor who knows that you, a first-timer, really doesn’t know anything about the actual physical making of a movie and says, “You know what you need?”
You, of course will respond with, “what what?”
And then you will be told “You need a Line Producer”.
In essence, the person is telling you in a polite way that he/she knows that you know nothing truly about the mechanics of actually making a movie and you need to associate with or partner with someone who knows how to make a movie.
“You need a Line-Producer”.
BOTTOM-LINE FOR FIRST-TIME FILMMAKER
Now, when you say you’re the producer which one of the 5 are you?
You’re not “the sugar daddy” (aka: Co-Producer), you’re not “the attorney” (aka: Executive Producer), nor the “production manager” (aka: Line Producer) and you definitely don’t want to be a nobody (aka: “Associate Producer”)”….
Now, which one are you?
What is left?
You are a Producer with 100s of great ideas which are literally “Numerous-Projects-In-Various-Stages-Of-Development”
Now take one of your great ideas. Get a great script. Get actors that love it…. And, you now own 100% of nothing.
Welcome to Hollywood.
Then partner with an attorney, (“Executive Producer”) and give him/her 50%, (you now own 50%) who-knows -investors (“Co-Producers”) who also get 50% and you ‘ve raised the money with you and your Executive Producer each keeping 25%; with you probably giving away 15% to cast & crew on deferrals and points… but you got the money (hope you read that “you got the money to make your first feature film) and Bottom-line is you received a salary for 4 months, own approximately 10-15% and have your first Opening Title Credit as a Producer.
Voilla! You’ve started your career.
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