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  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: Albania
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    0 times
    name='Steve Crook']Was that a raw nerve I touched there?

    The producers are crucial to the success of a project, but in what way beyond providing the finance and facilities?

    Well, it depends on the individual producer, but in many cases their input goes (and arguably should go) way beyond "finance and facilities". Bear in mind that the producer is often the person who initiates a project in the first place, either by buying the rights to a property or by commissioning a screenwriter and director to develop it, and they'll be heavily involved in the development process for reasons well beyond crude budgetary ones.

    I know of several cases where the producer was instrumental in nurturing the long-term careers of certain filmmakers, looking out for projects that both suited their temperament and which were realistically fundable, and managing the transition from shorts to features, documentaries to fiction, television to film, and so on - in fact, they were often the ones to initiate the switch, prodding the filmmakers into attempting something more ambitious.

    Just to give you a good example of an intensely creative producer-director relationship, look at Huw Wheldon and Ken Russell. Wheldon gave Russell his first big break by commissioning his first professional piece, and spent the next few years shaping what was clearly a gigantic but hopelessly undisciplined talent into something world-class. We're hardly talking "finance and facilities" here - Russell has freely acknowledged that it was often Wheldon's late interventions in the editing stage that turned a potentially chaotic mess into a masterpiece. Granted, they had loads of creative differences along the way (which is an entirely healthy part of the process if the various parties respect each other), but Russell has always made his debt to Wheldon abundantly clear.

    The GPO filmmakers would say much the same thing about John Grierson and his successor Alberto Cavalcanti, and the Ealing and Gainsborough crowd had a similar regard for Michael Balcon and Edward Black (though less so Maurice Ostrer, and the less said about Rank's notorious John Davis, the better!). And there are countless similar examples of individual producer-director relationships that bely the "finance and facilities" caricature.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    2 times
    name='LukeAFB']Cheeky Bob,

    I would question your assertion that Producers have "massive creative input". I've been a Director and Writer for over 30 years and with one exception (an American Producer), Producers tend to stay away, unless you're spending money too freely, or they don't like the daily's (rushes). I can recall one or two Producers who never came near a set.

    Surely that is a massive creative input. Knowing what your role is.

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