Someone asked me recently what I thought the role of the Producer was
in a specific film. I have to admit that the answer I gave was not
entirely satisfactory. So, willing to learn, I would be grateful for
any opinions on how one determines the specific function(s) of a
producer when viewing a film/TV programme. i.e. in the same way that
one can say "That's a typical Spielberg movie!" or "Mike Leigh's
screenplay was up to his usual standard", can one say the same thing
about the role of the Producer in contemporary films? Is a 'good' film
always associated with a 'good' producer and vice versa?
Is there anything in particular that one should watch for in a film or
TV programme in order to determine the Producer's input into the final
product? Is a 'good' producer one that makes a fat return on the
investors' money? One that puts together a good team? Someone that is
associated with a glossy slick product?
I always had the impression that the Producer was hidden behind the
scenes, stapling together bits of paper and shouting at people when
the schedule is not adhered to, but I would suppose that this is not
doing justice to what must be a very important, if not vital function
in the materialisation of any film/TV programme.
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