Delegating your producer team is going to be one of the most important things you need to master to fund your indie film. Each member of your producer team is going to have their strengths and weakness. It’s a daunting task for one person to carry the load of funding a film. If you want to be a one man army, Jim Jarmusch said it best, “If you don’t want to work with other people, go paint a painting or write a book.” But at the core of the team is the visionary producer. That one producer who nurtures everyone’s strengths and brings out the best of every person on the team. That producer who gives energy and momentum.
You are going to need a huge amount of resources, connections, networking, organizing, daily motivation, and a clear vision. Some producers have a natural inclination for business & sales, others have meticulous organizational skills, and then there are producers with a clear vision on what the film can become.
If I had to break it down, these are the main components a producer team needs to tackle:
- Find the money – Some one is responsible for hunting down the investors, soft money, film incentives, product placement, pre-sales, etc.
- Distribution – Building relationships early one with sales agents, distribution companies, film festivals, and producer reps
- Casting – This is both a creative and business decision.
- Audience Research – You might not have the resources of a studios marketing dept. but knowing your audience early on and building a relationship with them is invaluable.
- Monetary Funnels – What other financial outlets could your film have? Can it be converted into a novel, comic book, mobile game, app, merchandise?
- Aesthetic Taste/Production Value – Even though the director, DP, and production designer come up with the visual look of a film, the producers have to set an aesthetic standard. From the website, movie poster, press kit, printing material, DVD cover, etc.
All these elements coincide with each other. Ideally you want a minimum of three producers handling the daily load of funding and producing a film. One final note. Don’t work with assholes. Seriously its not worth it. There are to many sociopaths, narcissist, crooks, liars, passive aggressive personalities, lazy producers who take all the credit, and Debbie Downers who lurk in the film industry. Hire slowly and fire quickly.
I’ll leave you with another Jim Jarmusch quote “Also, avoid sycophants at all costs. There are always people around who only want to be involved in filmmaking to get rich, get famous, or get laid.”