The IAFT: The Producer’s Ever Changing Role
Regan Wynne is a producer with a wide variety of experience in commercial, theatrical and television production. He has produced the feature HOLLYWOOD KILLS as well the television pilot FOXXY NEWS and has worked on projects for the Walt Disney Company, the Mindful Living Network, Nintendo, Lexus/Toyota, Live Nation, Hasbro and a long list of others. He is currently a mentor at the International Academy of Film and Television.
The Producer's Ever Changing Role
One does not need to be an acute observer to realize that new technology is changing how films and television programs are made. The power that was previously held by a select few is now in the hands of masses of independent filmmakers. This shift is happening as the need for content is increasing. News shows, television series and websites are actively seeking more and more content for the ever-increasing number of outlets. Dispersion of technology, need for content and budget constraints are the factors causing a cross pollination of skills sets. Personnel are acting as a one-stop shop for content generation, offering companies, studios and productions efficient staff that can transition seamlessly between development, shooting and post-production. This new hybrid position is making obsolete the multi-member staff of producer, crew and editor previously required for a promo, field or segment piece.
Originally a promo position, the pr-editor (pronounced like predator) would write copy, pull specific clips from episodes, lay in V/O (if required) and cut the piece for air. This individual effectively combines the efforts of several into one, an employee who can take the project from start to finish. The demand for pr-editors is on the rise as news programs and other forms of television call for the all-in-one package. No longer does a producer have to schedule time with the editor after a shoot when he can assume the role himself. For a piece that is only going to air once for 2-5 minutes, the speed and cost-effectiveness of this evolution in filmmaking is the logical choice for any company, show or media outlet.
“ONE MAN BANDS”
The next progressive step for this trend is the producer who can shoot his own footage, grab his own sound bites, write his own copy, perform his own stand up interviews, edit his own footage and all the while manage any client expectations or production requirements. With the large availability of smaller, lighter and easier to operate DV and HD cameras, the days of having a cameraman with a sore shoulder from lugging around a Beta SP are dwindling. In many cases, potential employers are looking for people that not only possess these skills, but have the equipment and software as well. Own your own camera and have a Mac with Final Cut Pro? Your employability just increased even more.
Today, film school graduates and others completing university programs in production or broadcast journalism have all of the above skills and oftentimes more. Prepared by the right programs, they have an understanding of all things film- and television-related and can hit the ground running the day they graduate. Need a short segment featuring comedic “Man on the Street” interviews ala Jay-Walking on “The Tonight Show”? Done. Need someone on the red carpet for interviews and event coverage of that huge movie premiere? No problem. Following the life and times of the latest celebrity with their own “real life” series? Now you only need one person to keep up with their trials and tribulations. The more encompassing the education, the better working knowledge these graduates will have for production. It will be these students, literally, who will be able to do it all.
The IAFT Recommends
- Diploma Program in Filmmaking - IAFT
The Diploma Program in Filmmaking is an intensive nine week filmmaking program that covers key filmmaking proficiencies and topics.