Thursday, April 25, 2019
How to find Producer for your film – The first hurdle in any project is the finances and so holds true for a Film Making process as well. You have the right concept, right ideas, right intentions but if you do not know the source of funding the whole project is stalled. It’s a difficult prospect for any filmmaker, especially for filmmakers who may not have a huge collection of previous box office successes or who are newcomers. And in this scenario, finding a good producer is even more important. Also, it is very difficult to find a production house/producer who will go extra miles to make your movie available to the right audience. So we need a Producer who will not only fund your project but will be fully involved throughout so that your movie reaches the correct audience. Movie making is just halfway, getting it to the audience is a tougher task.
And of course, this is a two-way affair. Simply finding a producer who you feel would be perfect for the project is no guarantee that they’ll want to get on board; as a writer and director Ryan Koo puts it, “Finding a producer is like dating: you need to spend some time getting to know the other person, and you’re not going to like everyone you meet. Nor is everyone going to like you back.”
The whole idea is to find a ‘right’ guy who can finance our endeavors plus can go along until the release of the film. The choice will ultimately be yours however the below ideas can help you somewhere.
Understand your topic and ensure that you do not discard any and all producers who have never tackled the topic before since it does not mean that they don’t want to undertake the same. Prepare a list of all such prospective producers. Also make a list of all such producers as well who have already worked on a similar project because if the concept is good, they will like to invest in the same idea again.
In addition, once your list is finalized, study the work of each of these producers so that you can connect well with them. Also, this will enable you to shortlist a few of them because of their past works. Though it will look a tedious job to study someone’s work, but in the process of finding the correct match for your project, you need to study then thoroughly and approach them. In real life scenarios as well, you connect well with somebody only when you know about them. If their previous work makes it clear that they share the same sensibilities as you when it comes to making movies, you’ve potentially got a match.
At this stage, it is very important to study the career graph of the list of producers you have shortlisted. It would be a mistake to approach someone who has retired long back or someone who is involved in a very big project. It would be better to find a person who has shown interest in the past as well to take up new projects with newcomers. Difficult to find but not impossible. Here I would like to specifically point that meet as many people as possible during this journey of yours. Sometimes, you will find a person who is totally out of film background but has got the resources and willingness to take up the project with you. It will all depend on how well you interact and connect with people. This also calls for you working on your communication skills and knowledge about film making. You should be a person who chooses the words wisely and your work, knowledge, and passion reflect in your words.
Location, to a lesser extent, is also a factor for consideration—while the producer is based on the other side of the planet isn’t necessarily a locked door, it makes sense to focus your search (at least initially) to your local area first. But as I said, do not make it a constraint. You should be open to travel as well in case you find a suitable match for your project in a far location.
As mentioned above as well, meet as many people as possible. If you feel like you’ve not got any contacts to hit up, get yourself to as many film festivals and screening events as you possibly can, and you will find links. You’ll be surprised at how many golden opportunities arise in extremely strange ways. In one such personal experience, I visited a chat show organized by Doordarshan. I randomly met people there and to my surprise, I found a news anchor who got interested in my project. These million-to-one occurrences happen nine times out of ten in an industry as close-knit as filmmaking, so get out there and start making ripples (while being courteous to everyone you meet, given that you don’t know who may be the catalyst to turn one of those ripples into a wave.)
And most importantly of all…
Be humble and open to learning all the times. Understand that the producer receives multiple such mails. And while it is his or her job to read and select screenplays, it doesn’t negate the fact that when you email a producer you’re asking them to give their time for free. You need to value each and everyone you connect within this journey, after all, you are taking their time at least.
You may have already figured out that they’re a good match for you, but you should strive to make it as easy as possible for them to do the same. As I said before, sometimes, you will get a person who will be from a non-filmi background. It would be always good to have a presentation ready so that the other party finds it easy to understand. It also improves your representation as a professional director or writer. A full script is industry standard, but becoming increasingly popular is the idea of a “presentations.” This typically includes a director’s statement, mood reel, any stills or promo shots available, and all related contact info and social media links…and definitely make sure you’ve got a strong logline!
Above all, keep your introduction simple and brief, to the point and be humble in all your communications. Even if things don’t materialize, if your professionalism leaves a lasting impact it may earn you a recommendation.
In the end, the ultimate mantra is ‘keep smiling’. DO not let the process take away your smile. All the best for all your future prospects. You can post your suggestions and query in the comment section below.