The role was based in a media production company that creates and develops media-based campaigns, which raises awareness for a social issue of the clients’ choosing - for example: bullying, homelessness, crime, equality, mental health or social activities, to name a few - by creating short films and advertising, documentaries and broadcast, photography and print-based advertising, such as creating posters, leaflets, as well as organising and filming events and live performances.
The job was a 'jack-of-all-trades' position where, as the producer, I was solely expected to be proficient, skilled and competent throughout every stage of pre-production, the production itself and post production throughout each and every project that was assigned to me:
- Meeting with clients to discuss their target audience, message and create a concept surrounding those points.
- Draft out treatments and budgets (which, must be below £250).
- Write scripts for my own projects as well as scripts based on outlines created by others.
- Handle all producer responsibilities, such as hiring actors, locations, necessary equipment, freelance crew, props, materials.
- Write risk assessments and call sheets.
- Direct the shoot (video or photo) – including handling the cinematography, supervise sound-recording etc. guide the cast and crew, whose experience and skills may vary.
- Fulfil two productions a month and submit a project every fortnight consistently.
Each project had to be completed within the tight constraints of a small budget, follow company guidelines and criteria, whilst working inside a short time-scale. Every film and product had to be short and concise, yet must fulfil its purpose by informing and enlightening/inspiring its target audience, and encouraging pro-activity and action for its campaign.
I have made over 200 short films, along with a handful of short documentaries and broadcast pieces - many of which, have been on featured on ITV and screened at the BFI cinema in London (7 films at once during a Mental Health film festival), plus other specific festivals and events - , plus a good number of posters, leaflets and booklets, which can be presented on request.
The role also entailed assisting other producers on their own projects through offering help and advice in pre-production, working behind the scenes to help their project come to fruition during production, and providing second opinions and suggestions in post-production. As well as giving feedback to completed projects on how to improve the existing material before going through final approval stages and the online launch.
A huge part of the job was knowing how to communicate with a large variety of people and personalities - including those with mental health issues, learning disabilities and difficulties, and shy and/or anxious characters, difficult and/or impatient individuals - I pride myself on knowing how to pitch an idea to anyone based on their disposition and preferences, and taking a client's idea (which might not be a very good one) and applying it to the final product in a way that allows them to feel valued in the creative process.