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  • Jessica Clarke

Client's Choice: Why Hiring a Producer is the Smartest Decision You'll Make

Published by: Jessica Clarke

Date Published: November 01, 2023

Whenever I tell my family, friends, acquaintances, or even first dates that I'm a producer, I know there are bound to be follow-up questions. If I'm not greeted with a blank stare, I'm usually asked, "So, what do you actually do?" My personal party line is, "Think of me as a wedding planner but for commercials and advertising." Face it; producers are the people who piece the puzzle together. They are the masterminds behind the execution of any creative project, and they are expert problem solvers. Above all, producers ensure the job is done to maximize your budget and creative output. They handle the stress of the project minutiae, so you don't have to.

I've heard from some clients that they fail to understand the necessity of producers, especially when they already have an internal project manager and a creative director. Understanding the need begins with comprehending exactly what producers do. So, let me (humbly) help clarify that.

As every client knows, in every project, there are bound to be roadblocks. It can be as simple as delivery timelines, budget constraints, or cross-border shipping of goods, all the way down to "[Person X] just won't get on the flight without their emotional support hamster." If you've been in the “biz” long enough, you know that almost anything can happen to derail the execution of your beautifully designed creative work.

This is where your producer comes in. The pseudo-superhero of execution, a great producer will not only understand your vision but also will genuinely care about the output. They are project managers with expertise in creativity. They not only see the big picture but also ensure that every tiny detail is accounted for. A top-notch producer will keep the project on track, provide up-to-date work-back schedules, ensure there is proper insurance for your team, select and empower a crew that best aligns with your vision, manage deliveries, equipment, and scheduling and this barely scratches the surface. Great producers have seen it all, so they understand where problems can arise and develop strategies to pre-emptively mitigate those issues. Producers aren't afraid to ask questions; they know who to talk to and are continually pursuing knowledge and more efficient ways of execution. They spend their time in the nitty-gritty details, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters: your business.

I could spend far too long discussing all the seemingly unconventional things I've done to ensure that a shoot proceeds without any issues, (yes, I once drove from Toronto to Buffalo NY for a particular USA-available-only energy drink), and while that is a fun happy-hour topic it’s not my point. Ultimately, if you're uncertain about the need for a producer on your next project, consider whether there might be aspects you’re overlooking in your planning. Most producers are eager to share their advice and insights in the pursuit of creative excellence. Why not call one?



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