News & Notes

What’s a Producer Anyway?

By: Sharon Sobel

So, I got this question asked of me the other day.

I like to compare a producer to a general foreman on a construction job.

So, let’s say you want to build a house. The foreman has to ask lots of questions like: how big you want the house, when do you want it built by, where do you want to build it, what are the most important features for the house, what kind of money do you have to spend on the house, etc.

After he gets all his questions answered in the initial process, he works with an architect, day laborers, inspectors, etc., to create the house you were picturing….within budget, and hopefully, on time. His job is to understand all of the problems that could occur, and ensure all of the people involved show up, do what they’re supposed to, and he also interfaces with the client along the way to let them know how their housebuilding project is going.

In the corporate video world, that’s a good analogy to a corporate video producer. In Hollywood, it’s not the same. Someone with “producer” in their name may just be in charge of the budget. Or they’re supervising the shooting days. Or they’re just finding a studio to show the film, and trying to get funding.

I don’t work in Hollywood. I work in DC. When I wear the “Producer” hat, it’s a lot of roles in one…but generally, I’m making sure my client’s project is on time, on budget, and is “what they are picturing”.

So it’s not really fair to call a producer up and say, “I want to make a five minute video. How much does that cost?”. Would you call a builder up and say, “I’d like to build a five bedroom house. How much does that cost?”

*Read more of the “Musings from the Maven” blog here.

News & Notes Categories