Tuesday, May 10

Producer's Note 1: Your Call

One of the most challenging part of a producer's role is signing off work. A creative bod comes to you and says, "I finished the piece and you're going to like it. It's fantastic". You look at what he or she has done and it is completely wrong. Of course you're honest and say, "it's rubbish, start again". But then you get the 'why?' question. In the TV world there is never just one person asking why? There's usually a dozen people at least- all wanting a stake in the decision making.

In an attempt to be objective (and persuasive) here are 10 questions to ask before, during and after production. I'd be interested to know what you would put on the list.

1. One single minded idea?
There is a difference between an idea and a treatment. Each piece should have one driving idea which should shine through? Remember the Guinness ads.

2. Does it capture a truth?
We like to see something and say, "ah yes, so true".

3. Is it as simple as it can be?
What could you cut out of it without noticing?

4. Does it provoke the emotions?
Makes you happy, sad, threatened...

5. Does is tell a story?
A good narrative structure always goes down well

6. Is it inventive?
Done something new fresh, unique, surprising

7. Is it fit for purpose?
There is usually reason for the work - so does it do the job? Does it answer the brief?

8. Is it well crafted?
High production values - technically very good with a quality finish.

9. Does it take a risk?
If everyone is scared to go ahead with it - good.

10. Do I like it?
Perhaps this is all that matters in the end - provided the intended audience agrees.


At 1:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks mark. i printed it out to show to my vicars. moya

At 6:18 pm, Anonymous Michael said...

Just discovered your blog, Mark, and these producers notes have got me thinking in a variety of applications including community theatre, storytelling, marketing images, communicating ideas, recruiting volunteers and probably others...


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The opinions expressed on this site are those of Mark Waddington and not his employer. If I have made any errors or published anything unfairly please bring it to my attention and I will make corrections if appropriate.