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THE FILM PRODUCER Page 7

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Once the production begins, it is not uncommon to see some producers leave the project. As touched upon previously however, there are other producers who continue to keep their presence felt throughout the production process. These producers find themselves filling a number of roles with in the project, but try to focus their efforts evenly between the business and the creative aspects of the film in progress. 

In all actuality, the producer is not needed on the set. Everyone on the set has a designated role to perform except the producer. Because of this, there is a question of why the producer would stay on the set if they do not have a specific function. 

There is a tremendous difference between the producer that is always present on the set and the producer that is rarely if ever seen. It is inevitable that a producer who is never on the set will be treated like a stranger from the crew if they do in fact show up one day. If, on the other hand, the producer is always on the set and is making himself known to the crew, they are more apt to treat the producer as one of their own, even opening up and expressing concerns to the producer which otherwise may go unspoken. 

The producer is very often treated like the middleman between the crew and the director, cinematographer, etc. They will also receive many suggestions and insights from the crew that may prove lucrative in the filmmaking process. For any producer who is looking to become more involved in the production process as a whole, establishing a good relationship with the crew is vital.
It is important that the producer coordinate the activities of the press throughout the course of the making of the film. 
Another important function that the producer can provide during the production process is that of public relations supervisor and or supervisor of publicity for the film. It is very important for the producer to oversee all material being written about the project as not to allow false or strayed insights of the production to go published. 

Much of the time, the intentions of the filmmaker are misconstrued and the portrayal of the film by someone who is not directly related to the project will not do it justice. It is important that the producer coordinate the activities of the press throughout the course of the making of the film. By maintaining control and keeping one step ahead of the material to be published, any offending or "off the mark" material can be corrected before it makes its way into public eye.

Throughout production the producer will be in constant contact with the studio. It is important for the producer to keep the studio informed of the progress of the film, and to keep them off the directors' back. It is much easier for the director to do their job when they do not have to deal with the constant pressures of the studio. In this respect, if the producer can assure the studio that all is going as planned and within budget, the director will be able to keep their concentration on the film itself.

 The Producer/Director Relationship 
It is obvious that the relationship between the producer and the director is an extremely important one in the making of a successful picture. Although the producer appears to be a crucial role in getting a picture made, the studio does not necessarily believe so. As a matter of fact, the producer is paid far less than the director of the film, and is not a big consideration when deciding whether a film receives the "green light" or not. Due to this, one of the greatest tasks of the producer is to find a director that is affordable and acceptable to the studio. 

There are a handful of directors that are considered "bankable," meaning that many studios are more than happy to have then on a project because of the almost guaranteed success the film will have with their name on the project. However, not every director can direct every type of film, no matter how talented or accredited they are. The producer must take into high consideration how the director relates to the particular project in mind. A great deal of persistence and enthusiasm in the project are once again key roles the producer must play in trying to bring a director to the project.

As the preproduction process begins, the producer and the director should work closely together and collaborate about how the production process and the entire scope of the film should take place. From the start, the producer and the director should have a shared vision of the picture. If the director goes into the project with the agenda of making a film that will promote or benefit his status then the film is bound for disaster. 

The producer and the director must share a common goal; to make a picture that they both believe in. It is inevitable that there will be an overlap of interests and responsibilities between both players, and they should discuss these areas and try to figure out the most effective way to deal with them. The producer and director should work closely together while deciding the cast and crew, as well as location scouting and a lot of groundwork in preproduction.

During the production process, the producer is very helpful because they can be present in areas that the director is not. While the director is busy with their specific duties such as filming, the producer can be dealing with the studio, supervising crewmembers and their work, handling the press, etc. 

The producer is also extremely helpful to the director in providing an objective point of view on the film as the process moves along. It should be considered helpful to the director for the producer to look at the dailies and be objective as to what they see. As the picture begins to take shape, the producers objective point of view will help to siphon out minor discrepancies that may plague the film in the future if not corrected. Many times, the director and others who spend countless hours each day with their eyes in a camera do not see these discrepancies. The point of view of the producer may pertain to both the performance and the technical aspects of the film.

 Postproduction 
Once the film is completed, the actors can go home, but the producer stays on. The amount of time it takes for postproduction varies greatly, but a period of twenty-eight to thirty two weeks (or even longer) is common. Initially the film editor, hired by the director and editor (usually with studio approval) will do most of the work in postproduction. 

The film will take on many versions during the postproduction process. It will go through the editing room where the editor will make their cut and the director will make their cut, both leaving the scenes that they believe will create the best picture. Differing viewpoints are common, and when the studio gets involved it may even become quite hectic. The producer must once again be able to separate the creative and financial considerations of the film and finds a happy medium.

The producer may work with the director on the editing and some of the composing of the final picture, but in general the director, editor and composer work together on the final cut. If asked, the producer should continue to lend his support to both the director and the editor and offer suggestions to help in the editing process. If the producer is not requested to give his remarks however, he must temporarily step aside while the other three work their magic. Once the final cut is complete, the producer will once again step in and take a look at "his" film.

Throughout postproduction, the producer must maintain a sharp focus on the budget of the film. Although the bulk of the financial strain will have already been established in production, postproduction expenses can get out of hand if not carefully observed. Today, major studio postproduction costs exceed $1 million. 

One of the main reasons for this is the increasing wages of the film editor and composer. Because there are only three (possibly four if the producer is involved) people working on the final product, more time will be needed to produce the final product. Time is not the only consideration that increases the budget however. These days, the editor and composer are considered major creative forces that will help to shape the film into something spectacular, and they are therefore paid much more for their work than they were in the past. Producers must keep a close watch on this increasing budget and keep the studio informed. 

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