Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

How to Find a Producer for Your Film

One of the most important steps you’ll take and important decisions you’ll make during your filmmaking journey is finding your lead producer. The lead producer will be your film’s champion and will help you pull together all (or most) of the pieces to put a film together. Learning how to find a lead producer for your film is step one.

To find a lead producer for your film:

  • Look for someone multifaceted with plenty of entertainment industry relationships

  • Attend festivals and markets to learn more about producers and what they’re looking for

  • Pay attention to the trades to determine producer availability and appropriate match

  • Find a creative executive to help you get your foot in the door

Tiffany Boyle, President of Packaging and Sales at Ramo Law, helps clients package their films to include writers, producers, directors, talent, financing, and more. She has some poignant advice for screenwriters who are ready to take the next step in their filmmaking journey by finding a producer for their movie.

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In this blog, Tiffany explains where and how to find a lead producer for a film, plus the qualities to look for in whichever person you choose.

What Does a Film Producer Do?

A lead film producer’s job is to oversee film production and almost act like the movie manager, planning and coordinating all aspects of the process from script to screen.

Responsibilities include managing the schedule, budget, above-the-line and below-the-line crew, hiring, financing, and generally keeping the process running smoothly and efficiently.

What to Look for in a Film Producer

“What a writer should look for in a lead producer is somebody who is multifaceted, somebody who can be on set, hopefully, that can run a set, and then also somebody that has relationships, meaning, do they have relationships with other directors, talent, other production companies that have financing, studios, distributors; those are going to be really important,” Tiffany began.

Tiffany added that the person you choose to be your lead producer doesn’t need to have all of the skills mentioned above because you will likely have multiple producers by the time the film is in production.

“They don’t need to be all of those things, but at least somebody that can bring something significant to the table like that, where they have a lot of access,” she said. “In order to have somebody that can help you really push forward, it’s going to be helpful to have somebody that can say, “Hey, I can make a phone call to this person.”

It’s easy to see why having this support at the onset of your film project is a game-changer.

“To me, it’s the best way to get started,” she said.

Where to Find a Film Producer

“How you find them is the tricker part,” Tiffany cautioned. “I’d say it’s doing your research.”

She offered up her own firm’s strategy for finding producers and production partners. At Ramo Law, the team’s ability to keep and grow connections is integral to successfully packaging film projects for clients.

Attend Film Markets and Film Festivals

“How we’ve grown our firm over the years and how we’ve kept up to date with what’s going on in the marketplace is we’ve attended a lot of markets and film festivals where we’ve reached out and just asked people to meet with us, and just really got information of what’s going on in the market, how are you getting involved in projects, why, and developing those relationships,” she said.

Writers can take the same approach by attending events like these early and often. You don’t want to wait until you need to utilize these connections to go out and try to make them; then, networking appears desperate and contrived.

“Networking is so key to building relationships,” Tiffany said.

Lucky for writers, the global pandemic made attending these festivals and markets more accessible – and affordable – than in previous years.

“I think what’s really cool about what’s happening now is a lot of people can’t afford to go to all of these festivals and markets, but so many of them are virtual now and will probably be keeping a virtual component for at least the next couple of years,” Tiffany said.

“So, you can buy a badge a lot cheaper to get access to see who’s attending and trying to set meetings with them or trying to do generals with them or trying to send them information, and those are people who are pretty active, like they have a film in one of the major festivals or something, so you know they’re doing work. I think that’s a really cool way of doing it.”

How to Find a Producer for Your Film

So now that you know where to look, how do you connect with a producer you’d like to work with? Tiffany told us that the secret is knowing who to call (hint: it’s not the producer) and when to do it.

Follow the Trades

“Follow along what’s going on in the trades – who’s doing what, when are they doing it, how long are they booked out for,” she said. “The good thing about producers is that they’re usually taking on multiple projects at a time, so you don’t have to be too worried that they’re super booked up.”

Make it a habit to read the trades every day. Online publications including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, and Indiewire will help you stay informed on the latest news in the entertainment industry.

Search records by names or production companies for archived material to reveal what they’re working on and who they’re working with. Get to know the producers like it’s your job!  

Find the Creative Executives

“I always say, too, if you find a company that you like and you think, oh, this company could be a great production company for my project, try and get to the creative executive there,” Tiffany advised.

What does a creative executive at a production company do? A creative executive works for a studio or production company and is tasked with finding new material for the company to produce.

“Creative executives are people that are growing, they have a lot to prove, they tend to still be really excited about their jobs, and they really want to show that they can find good talent,” Tiffany explained.

“So, trying to get through to them, they tend to be a little bit more open to you if you have a good pitch and you can speak really well about what you want for your project.”

Summary

The lead producer holds so much weight in what happens next in the filmmaking process, so you want to find someone who believes in your screenplay as much as you do. With the proper research and preparation, you’ll find a producer and partner to champion your work and move your film forward on schedule and on budget.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Sharing is caring! We'd SO appreciate a share on your social platform of choice.

Do your due diligence, network early and often, keep track of the trade news, and find creative executives to help get your foot in the door. With persistence, this process will pay off.

Let’s make a production of it,

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