Who needs a producer anyway?

Life is not a linear line.Do you know the difference between organizers and producers? What does a producer do exactly?

When I first submitted my CV in search for a job in China, I was quite surprised when my future employer asked me right at the beginning of the interview “you wrote that you are a producer. What do you mean by that?”. They understood that I’m an actress and a scientist, but what does it mean to be a producer?

As the saying says: “I stopped in my tracks”.

At first I didn’t know how to briefly explain a job that was my favorite out of all that I did. How to explain it simply?

I asked them if they watch the Oscars? Of course they do. I asked, do you know which Oscar is awarded at the end of the ceremony? They know –  for the best movie. Okay, and who receives that most important Oscar? And here we were again stuck. Um, they think the director, but still not, the director receives the one for the best director… Who could that person be? “Producer”, I say, dad and mom of the movie, the show, every production!

“I see” they answered me. But not too convincingly. They didn’t understand.

But you don’t have to go to China to find yourself in a situation where the team (actually) doesn’t know what/who a producer is. If we look at our public theaters in Croatia and their structures (not to mention the organization charts, which they mostly do not have), you will see that, if there is a producer’s job, it is actually the person who is the organizer, who organizes the work on production. And most artists think the same.

But, as Lukić (2010) nicely explains in his book Production and Marketing of Performing Arts, producer and organizer are not synonymous. Organization is just one of the segments of production.

A producer is much more than that. 

According to Lukić, the producer enables and creates the conditions for the production of the work and leads the processes in all phases and parts of its production.

In short, a producer is a person who has under control all the elements of a production: artistic, administrative and technical.

In order to be able to coordinate all these tasks, the producer must have knowledge and skills that include all areas.

Without good producers – there is no good theater.

And as long as we call organising – producing , we will only sink deeper into chaos.

In the next posts we will go deeper into all the aspects of producing. If you have questions feel free to write them below!