Producer (pre-rec)

The role of a producer is to manage and organise the production. They play a vital part within the pre-production process as well as leading the production and overseeing the editing process. Their main responsibilities are to ensure everything runs smoothly and oversee the production to completion.

Pre-Production is a vital part of the production process for the producer. Whilst there is no designated order to complete things, they will often begin by exploring exactly what the focus of the production is and what the message they are trying to convey. Whilst non-fiction projects don’t have a strict storyline like fiction projects and often develop as the production does, it is still vital the production still has some form of narrative and structure and it is the producer’s role to ensure this and make sure the production doesn’t steer too far away from its aim. The producer will often also have to undertake some research to ensure they have some form of understanding surrounding the topic they are focusing on.

The producer is then in charge of finding contributors to feature within the non-fiction piece. Often at times an idea or concept for a non-fiction piece can be based around a sole/group of contributors, in which it is then the producer’s role to build a structure and narrative for the production around those featured. The producer then will then be responsible for creating and retaining communication with the contributors throughout the project, ensuring that they are fully aware of what the project is asking of them and they are aware of what they need to do. The producer will then write the questions for the interviewees and often send them to the contributors in advance.

The producer will then have to arrange the exact filming locations, ensuring to speak to the necessary people to ensure filming is allowed and fill out the risk assessments accordingly. They will have to find a crew as well as arrange the kit for the day and time of shooting and ensure all crew members are briefed beforehand on what the day will look like, often by supplying a call sheet. Additionally, if the project features a presenter they too will have to be selected by the producer, whilst sometimes presenters will like to write their own lines or notes on what they are planning to say - this will all have to be overseen and approved by the producer who will give direction to the presenter.

Whilst producers are not always on set, as non-fiction productions don’t always tend to have a director, the producer is the one who takes upon that directing role within the production stage. They ensure the contributors feel comfortable and are aware of what is going on, as well as directing the crew members and presenters - ensuring production runs as smoothly as possible and stays on track.

Finally, after the production process, the producer is responsible for finding an editor for the project. They are in charge of briefing the editor beforehand as well as giving them notes through the post-production process and ensuring the project is completed with a clear focus and structure that the entire team will be happy with.

Responsibilities of the Role:

  • Choosing a topic/overall niche the production will focus on

  • Planning the production and overall direction of the project

  • Arranging Kit (Through the YSTV Tech Team)

  • Finding Contributors

  • Prepping the questions ahead of the interviews

  • Finding Presenter (If needed)

  • Finding the Crew (Camera Op, Sound Op, Boom Op etc)

  • Communicating and liaising with contributors

  • Having to send lots and lots of Emails

  • Creating Call-Sheets

  • Risk Assessments

  • Arranging Filming Location(s)ed

  • Directing on-set (both the crew and contributors)

  • Problem-solving any issues that may arise

  • Finding an Editor

  • Giving Edit Notes

How to Guides

HOW TO FILL OUT RISK ASSESSMENTS:

  • YSTV has clear and straightforward Risk Assessment templates for both outdoor and indoor productions so select the template you want

  • The templates come with pre-provided common and potential risks for indoor/outdoor productions so ensure they are all relevant for your production and filming location and add any further risks necessary

  • The template then works via a rating system which is explained on the front page - ensure all of this is filled out as well as the ways in which you, as the producer, will prevent these risks from occurring.

  • Finally, once you have completed your risk assessment and signed it off, send it to the Station Manager to approve prior to your shoot.

HOW TO FIND CREW:

  • The best way to find crew is to put a Crew Call out either on Slack or the YSTV Group Chat on Messenger

  • If you are still struggling to find crew contact the Heads of Factual, Production Director or anyone in the Production Team who will be able to help you find crew and recommend some people

HOW TO ARRANGE KIT:

  • Message the tech team and ask for the type of kit you need. They will then try to allocate you with everything that you need.