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  • Jessica Clarke

From Concept to Creation: Things Clients Should Know About Production Processes

Published by: Jessica Clarke

Date Published: November 15, 2023


I've mentioned before that good producers are the secret sauce of commercial advertising (shameless plug, sorry not sorry). They're the sherpa guides, knowing the brand vibe and the A-to-Z of who to connect with

for that on-point execution. A stellar producer knows what you need to witness and delivers it sans the chaos, handling the backstage craziness like a maestro. It’s dancing a seductive pas de deux between what the client needs to see and what is being done in the shadows. But hey, let’s throw one more metaphor in here for good measure; I'm throwing back the curtain to reveal the wizard because I stand by two life beliefs: you can never be overdressed or overeducated.

Let's take a deeper dive into the process --or as we call it, the “BTS”-- so you, as a client, can gauge if you're snagging someone who'll do your project the justice it deserves.


01.

ORGANIZATION

Say it with me, OR-GA-NI-ZA-TION. Seriously, that’s all there is to it; excel sheets and file folders galore. I know, I know, it seems obvious; everyone knows that the success of any project is tied to preparedness and strategy, but the kind of organization you require in a good producer is crucial, and it begins with communication.

Organized communication is the backbone of any project. From weekly check-ins to daily status updates, communicating what is needed with an appropriate “action item” list is crucial. Outlining who is responsible for which action items and when they are due gives everyone involved a sense of purpose and eliminates the ever-so-frequent hot potato of decision-making. I’m not recommending your producer clog up your inbox, this is where the organization comes in: if you’re being provided an up-to-date work-back schedule and a general overview of what is accomplished and what is needed weekly, your producer is doing a good job. It should be concise, easy to understand, and clearly outline what your next steps are.



02.

TECH AND/OR SOFTWARE

Templates and trackers stand as a producer's best friends. While everyone is entitled to their tried-and-true methods, the absence of a proper task tracker and a master project management template creates the potential for error within your producer's workflow (and by proxy, your project).

It can be as simple as a hand-drawn calendar, but given the myriad of details to manage, it’s inevitable that some tasks might inadvertently slip through the cracks; this is where the tracker and master sheet come to the rescue. It’s important that you as a client inquire about your intended producer's strategies for success. Chances are, they'll be thrilled to nerd out about their pre-formatted Excel sheets, calendars, templates, and call sheets. Although they aren't obliged to share their intellectual property and trade secrets, it's reassuring to know they have it at their disposal. So, don't hesitate to ask!


03.

THE "LITTLE OBSIDIAN BOOK"


It sounds sexier that way, but a producer is only as good as their network. Their Rolodex of contacts comes in super handy when you’ve got an ambitious creative, a tight timeline or an even tighter wallet.

Why you ask? My trade secret is simple: if you don’t know how, find someone who does. Sounds painfully obvious right? Surprisingly, it’s not discussed as often as it should be.

Perhaps it’s ego, (we’re all a little bit narcissistic, aren’t we?), but few people are inclined to admit they don’t know an answer in such a competitive field. We’ve all heard the adage that you never want to be the smartest person in the room, so your producer shouldn’t either. (Side note: if you have found someone who has all the answers all the time, please point them my way, I could use their help). Seriously though, sharing knowledge is the only way we grow as people and professionals in any industry, and even more so as a producer who is used to working solo or with a small team. You’ll recognize a good producer if they aren’t afraid to ask the right questions, and if they maintain a robust network of crew members, directors, and industry contacts.


Next time you’re looking to hire a life-saving, brand-amping, campaign-crushing producer, ask them a few questions about their strategies and communication style to ensure you’re getting the most for your project. We’re happy to share our weird little world with you!

 



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