How many brilliant ideas have we all watched die because of budget or timing constraints?
How many of those could have been saved if a producer was brought into the process from day one?
Almost. Every. Single. One.
It’s a bold statement for sure, but it’s the absolute truth when there is real integration and partnership across teams at every stage.
The best producers offer valuable strategic and creative insights that can help inform every step of the way.
Production is an integral part of the overall process and the best producers offer valuable strategic and creative insights that can help inform every step of the way. A unique blend of left brain/right brain thinking, producers are able to communicate and interpret the information coming from all sides and help inform a clear and creative path forward.
We can work alongside strategy and account to help turn a broad client brief into a creative brief that makes sense for the brand, audience, timing and budget. The best and most effective ideas come when the walls are down and ALL parties are working together from day one.
How exactly does this work? Well, producers can introduce different approaches to solving problems and different ways into ideas. We can bring new thought-starters that may have not otherwise been brought to the table. As producers, we are always educating ourselves on the latest talent, technologies and cultural shifts and sharing these with our teams (and by teams, I mean every department and discipline in the agency).
Serendipity often plays a role in this – many a time I just happened to be participating in a screening or demo that has had a direct correlation to a briefing I just attended. By sharing this information in real-time with the team, more times than not, it has expanded the creative thinking and approach to the project.
Producers can be used to gut check the feasibility of ideas during each phase of development and offer alternate solutions in real-time to keep strong ideas in play that might otherwise be put aside as not achievable within a given timeframe or budget. Recently, I was brought in on some initial creative ideas that, as written, were way too ambitious for the timing and budget.
As producers, we are always educating ourselves on the latest talent, technologies and cultural shifts and sharing these with our teams.
However, the concept, the core idea, was so brilliant that we had to figure out a way to keep it intact but achievable. By talking it through and offering some alternate approaches, the team was able to not only keep the idea alive, but do so in a new and unexpected way that the client loved. We figured it was a long shot, but what an awesome feeling when the client bought into it.
Conversely, I have watched as production has been intermittently brought into the process. More often than not, this creates issues across the board that could have easily been avoided had the team stayed in lockstep throughout the process. No one wants to be in this position – not the creatives, not the clients and certainly not the producer, whose job is to ensure we can make what we present.
The exponential speed with which new technology is coming into play to help push the limits of what we can create and how we can execute it is exciting and can be overwhelming.
By having producers at the table from briefing through delivery, we can help educate the teams and enrich their exposure to, and understanding of, how these can directly relate to our work. We can figure out ways to ensure that content can be authentic and bespoke to each channel or medium, while not only staying on budget, but laddering up to a cohesive vision.
New team players
As the project progresses from brief to concept approval to production, we can introduce the team to a plethora of talented partners to not only bring the idea to life, but to enhance it. Elements of the project will inevitably go awry, but that isn’t a problem with a skilled production team.
Producers can rally the troops and problem solve on the fly, helping to come up with ideas that utilize what we have at hand and make magic. And yes, I have been in this position more times than I’d like to admit, but in the end, working as a team, we have pulled off the impossible.
Producers can be used to gut check the feasibility of ideas during each phase of development.
Long story short, it’s critical to have production at the table from day one and in lockstep throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
From information sharing at the start of the project, to gut checks along the way, there’s a magic to aligning all teams from start to finish and the end result will always benefit.