How to deal with producers who try to put their own stamp on what everyone sees or experiences (or at the very least, try something different)?
In addition to the general producer style rules above, I will highlight an important set of producer guidelines I would like to discuss in depth below, as they appear to be one of the areas in which it is easiest or rarest for a non-producer to be successful at managing a show and producing it as an independently viable alternative. These are:
Producer Guidelines for Non-Producers
1. Always know the full story with your audience in mind (when the other guys don’t).
In fact, a producer’s job is to be an insider, and if the other guys don’t know the full story of what you’re doing, we can’t trust them to do anything except produce the show as we want it. If they don’t know the full story of what you’re doing, we can’t trust them to do anything but produce the show as we want it.
You cannot be honest (or not honest) about where the money comes from in your budget, and what the expenses are for any given episode. We can’t trust you to talk with us and say, “Well, you know, here’s where the budget went and here’s the expenses.” You couldn’t even have the luxury of an executive producer, the “face” of the show, to tell us that.
I think one of the worst mistakes a producer can make is to give away too much. You can give away too much, but you also need to know when a network, studio, TV network, or other industry partner isn’t going to be the same level of investment in your show as your partner or network is. If I wanted to give away a million dollars per episode in an indie TV movie, I would have to know that it would be as difficult as possible to finance and produce that budget; it would need to be as financially challenging as possible. If it really was something I wanted to take on and invest that much into, then I would have to know it from the beginning (before I even started working on it), before the budget was even announced, and before there was the slightest doubt that the business terms or financing were going to be the same. If we would have to come in and say, “Here are the budget numbers for your first episode, and you better be prepared to commit that much money if you are going to be
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