THE LIFE OF A PRODUCER
Hmmm…they asked me to write an article for this website and said I could write on absolutely any topic I desired. So, I thought and thought and thought. I thought about writing and telling you what JAMS stands for but that would take about two seconds, unless I made up something very exotic. Than I thought if I wrote about JAMS I could give you THE REAL history of our company, what it's like to work with family and stuff like that but than I thought I'd take this a little bit more personal and tell you a little bit about my job as a Producer in a small independent production company.
So, here I am…Susie the Producer…sounds glamorous, huh? Well, to tell you the truth sometimes it is. It is when you have a show that gets coverage in The Wall Street Journal and it is when you have a successful press launch. But it also isn't most of the time.
My job is to take a concept that we as a group have decided would make a good story for television and turn it into reality. That involves figuring out how much it will cost to produce, finding the team that will shoot and edit it, and finding the talent that we will need to bring it coherence. At this point in our history we have a wonderful group of very talented people that we use to produce a show. We have camera, light and sound people that we think are fabulous, and editors that have amazing talent and vision.
It is also my job to find the locations that we will shoot at and get permission to bring cameras to the premises. Most people are really nice about having television crews at their businesses or on their sites but sometimes you find people who are afraid we will be disruptive. After some coaxing they usually give in and are pleasantly surprised that we do not cause too much of a ruckus.
Each guest on our show signs a "waiver" and that is also my job. This is a very important piece of paper because it gives us permission to use their words and image any way we need to. If we don't have that sheet they could come to us later and say they don't like the show (don't think that would ever happen) and want us to take them out of the finished show. So, that little piece of paper ensures that they grant us permission and cannot change their minds later.
Finally, as a Producer I have to choose an Editor. This could be the most important decision because the editor turns the dream into reality. We shoot many hours of camera footage and the Editor will take just a few minutes of the hours of footage and turn it into an interesting story. Of course, we have a script but the Editor, along with the Producers, will choose which of the many hours of camerawork captures the script in the best way.
So, that's what I do…it is a lot of fun because there are so many different things that have to be accomplished and I get to work with so many different types of people. I love to go out on location and meet people. I love to go into editing and see our initial dream turn into reality but most of all I love it when someone sees one of our shows and will write us a letter about it or call us and tell us that they thought we did something that was good. Sometimes we get calls that aren't that nice but whenever you are trying to please everyone, you can't. We all have different tastes and different ideas of what we want to see on television. My job is just to try and please as many people as I can. I love being a Producer!