11 Jan 2021
A producer plays a vital role within animation companies, yet to the layman there's often an inexplicable vagueness surrounding this important part.
A producer must be a wearer of many hats, a true jack-of-all-trades. Spearheading the creative pipeline of the studio, a good producer is the glue that holds it all together. Their role can span from a negotiator, problem solver or paper pusher to a cheerleader, therapist or creative team member, sometimes all on the same day!
A morning meeting with the creative team gets everybody on the right track and provides a good opportunity to identify any key issues that may have cropped up, whether with the clients, current jobs, or within an artist's personal life. If anyone needs anything, the producer is there to provide for them.
There on in, it's non-stop. Everything must be kept moving forward. The creative fires must be fuelled, clients called and kept up-to-date, finances meticulously maintained. Although a producer isn't required to know all the answers, they must be able to procure a wide enough network to know who to call to get a job done or a problem solved. Nevertheless, a great producer remains observant of the world around them, and up-to-date with current affairs and on top of new technologies.
As an animation company that creates an abundance of explainer videos and corporate videos, we are often approached by businesses and start-ups wanting to promote and provide new technologies and services. This means that we really need to stay ahead of the tide. When a prospective or current client approaches our producer with a fantastic new idea and our producer can say “Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about and how we can tackle this to make everyone understand your product and message!”, it's a win for everybody.
As with all things, the life of a producer is far from easy. Often it is an uphill battle but they must continue to act effectively whilst under pressure. Being the middleman between the clients and the creative team, there will be tough situations to negotiate. We're all people, after all, each bringing something different to the table. This middleman position makes a producer privy to better understanding a client's thought processes and motivations, so by looking at the situation from all angles, a skilled producer can collaborate to find the best creative solution, whilst understanding and preparing for any ramifications of compromise.
So yes, a producer does produce – they produce a great deal of things. From an intelligible framework, to relationships with clients and professionals in all industries, to a creative, stress-and-pressure-free work environment. Of course, things can't always run completely smoothly, but a dedicated producer will get everyone to the finish line and beyond.