By Kevin Elliott
Being a video producer is like being the Egyptian slave who brings the log from the back of the boulder to the front as the other slaves drag it up the pyramid. But in a good way.
What’s the Magic Word?
I have produced videos from Bellingham, Washington, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Raleigh, North Carolina and back again. In all those projects, there is one word that, more often than not, is the difference between success and failure.
The writer’s job is to document a vision. The videographer’s job is shoot what she sees. The producer’s job is to keep the details of the entire project in your head at all times and stay two steps ahead of everyone. The job is to anticipate.
Anticipate bad weather. Anticipate equipment malfunctions. Anticipate scheduling snafus and budget issues and client concerns. And fix them.
It helps to be high-strung and a little pessimistic if you want to be a producer. Assuming there will be difficulties lets you anticipate them and be ready with plans B, C, D, and E. If (when) that boulder starts sliding off the logs, you’ll already be there pushing it back on.
High-strung Producer = Better Project
In my experience, a high-strung producer leads to a calm crew and client. By anticipating what everyone needs and having it ready before they need it, the rest of your team (and your client) can relax and do their jobs.
I don’t mean to make it sound like producing is a chore or unpleasant. It may be for you, but I love it. I’m high-strung by nature so the keeping-20-plates-in-the-air-at-one-time aspect suits me. I also like to touch all facets of each project, so producing is where I belong (apparently, I’m controlling too.)
If this sounds like you, you might be video producer material. If not, anticipate failure.