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  • Writer's picturePeter Murray

What makes a great Television Producer?

What a television producer does

When selecting a television producer there are certain things that separate the great ones from the good ones.

A television production is a lot like running a business. There needs to be a great message; a good team: the content or the service you're providing; and technical expertise.

If you don't have a producer on staff, here is what you can look for in a production company when you hire one.

A great producer is a team builder. They are part of a larger organization and the production fits inside of that larger organisation’s mandate.

The producer you hire needs a great team and that team must be capable of making decisions even outside of their particular role.

That includes camera operators, sound technicians, directors and talent.

Your producer is a communicator.

Whether the producer is speaking with you or your staff or the team, producers are quick and clear, and they fit in the business culture as required. Not only must the producer be literate in the television arts, but also literate in all forms of communication.

Business owners need to be big picture thinkers, and so do television producers. There are a lot of small details to be attended to during pre-production, production and post-production.

When decisions need to be made on some of the small moving parts, your producer had better be able to make changes without losing track of the big picture.

Multitasking. Not only does your producer need to do many things at once, they also need to be experts in many fields and be able to deal with many types of people.

Your producer has great contacts. Constantly improving the value of their contacts, subcontractors, talent, and vendors is important for a producer. A television show may have many and varied needs and if your producer doesn't know the right person, they should know someone who does.

Everything is negotiable. At the end of the day the important thing is the final cut. Negotiating one's way through all of the decisions is a task that falls upon the producer. “No” can never be the final answer - but it is an answer on the way to getting to “yes”. Many obstacles can be put in the way of a producer and a good negotiator can get around those obstacles.

Troubleshooting. Composure under fire is extremely important. While your production may not be covering a war zone or a disaster, it still can run off the rails. Producers need to be part of the solution not part of the problem. Plan B plan C and etcetera are something every producer will have going into a production.

Producers will know what resources they have and they will be able to make the final cut.

Your producer needs to be a super-salesperson. If you are making a 30 second commercial there isn't a second to waste in telling the story and driving a customer to action.

They need to be able to take your specific company's business workings and change it into something anyone can understand.

When a producer is not selling your product you can bet that they're selling ideas to someone else's boss.

The buck stops here. Budgets don't grow on trees and yours needs to go as far as possible. It's no secret that expectations sometimes far outstrip resources and budgets. A great producer will know how to rein in spending and make budgets work.

Negotiating deals, leveraging contacts and getting whatever is needed for that final cut-no matter what the situation–is the producer’s number one priority.

Television producers work in 1000’s of a second when editing, so they know what real “time management” is. Moreover, time means money and deadlines don't wait. Organizational skills, team building skills, budgeting skills, leveraging resources and more is what a great producer has in his or her toolbox.

About Omni Media

Omni Media Productions is an established television production company based in Ontario, Canada. Our level of expertise has provided top-notch video production services across Canada and internationally. We have gained success due to the personalized service and well-maintained equipment that we bring to every project.

Our highly knowledgeable on-staff Ontario film crews will execute pro-level videography, webcasting, and video editing services. Utilizing professionals with years of video production experience is essential for any project. Omni Media Productions strives to exceed the expectations of our clients, and helps turn their vision into a reality.

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