Tips for engaging an independent producer (from the archives)

‘What do producers basically do, how do I know if I will need 1, how do I pay out a person, how do they operate with you, how do I uncover a single – and can I just be a self-creating artist and ignore about all these queries?’

– Every Artist Who Has At any time Been Explained to They Will need a Producer

The term ‘producer’ has grow to be a bit of a capture-all for a whole range of responsibilities, duties, experiences and outcomes. Many artists are informed they will need a producer, or possibly have only a vague sense of how doing work with a producer might reward them. This can make it extremely hard to recognize exactly where to start in getting a producer, enable by yourself what thoughts to ask and how to know you have uncovered the suitable human being for you and your operate.

Numerous impartial artists locate that doing the job with a producer can assistance to construct capability, enhance sustainability, share the load and raise the impression of your perform.

What do producers do?

This is a free description of some of the areas you will locate producers, and the roles they can enjoy – by no indicates definitive!

Location or competition producers

Producers inside organisations liaise with the exterior artist or enterprise, aid to supply the challenge, and can enjoy a important part in navigating the organisational aspect of points. These producers can also be termed ‘program managers’ or identical titles. They perform across numerous jobs at one particular time that are going on in the venue or competition.

Independent producers

Independent producers primarily operate their very own corporations, doing work with several artists and groups. These producers operate in a variety of methods, like lengthy-expression collaborations with artists above a selection of assignments and a long time as effectively as working on shorter-phrase assignments and a single-off events. For the most portion, impartial producers acquire tiny or no funding support, and are paid out right by artists, from undertaking budgets, or consider a share of earnings, for their operate.

Enterprise producers

Organization producers work with one particular artist or group, typically in the little-to-medium sector, with titles like ‘executive producer’ (best-level responsibility) and ‘associate producer’ (reporting to the government producer).

Each unbiased and corporation producers do a array of tasks together with arranging, budgeting, fundraising, strategic and imaginative input, project administration, networking, marketplace enhancement, tour administration, and so on.

In advance of you satisfy

Right before conference with a likely producer, compose a listing of things you visualize a producer could assist you with, as very well as a perception of the plans you have for your undertaking or apply. Analysis the producer’s internet site (if they have just one) and talk to all around for any feedback from colleagues who’ve labored with that particular person. Prepare some brief details on your individual practice, so that when you get hold of a producer you can offer them with data on who you are, what you do, what the project is, and where it’s presently at.

Issues to ask a probable producer

  • Have you witnessed any of my perform?
  • How do you explain your job as a producer, and how do you like to get the job done with artists?
  • Why do you function as a producer?
  • What other jobs and artists are you performing with at the instant?
  • What do you know about… (e.g. specific art form, follow, etc)?
  • How do you deal with functioning on many jobs – if there’s a calendar clash in between two jobs how would you negotiate that?
  • What do you do if there is a conflict of interest concerning two projects you are performing on, e.g. if two artists are both of those pitching operate to the exact competition?
  • How do you charge for your expert services? Flat payment? Hourly? Share of task budget?
  • Do you see you obtaining a artistic purpose or possession in the venture?
  • Are you expert in handling budgets and do you anticipate to do this in partnership with me?
  • Do you do grant composing as an more support or as section of your part as producer?
  • Who will acquire the monetary and authorized risk and accountability for this undertaking?
  • Describe your networks – who are you linked with, and how could we use our merged networks to accomplish the objectives of this challenge?
  • The place could you see this task going?
  • What do you consider is lacking from this job?
  • What else do you require to know to think about working with me?

Subsequent methods

Obtaining the appropriate collaborator is genuinely essential, and if the fit isn’t proper then really do not leap into engaging somebody. Talk to for more details, or possibly have interaction a producer on a scaled-down piece of operate as a way of testing the drinking water (e.g. owning a two hour approach and assistance session, or doing the job on a a person-off compact project).

If the healthy is appropriate, your initial collaboration should be to agree on some aims and duties for the challenge as properly as a very clear understanding of your monetary relationship. Place this into a straightforward letter of arrangement (it doesn’t have to be complex!) with info on any important dates, expectations and payments.

Many unbiased artists locate that working with a producer can give a deep sense of assistance and partnership – acquiring a person to walk with them on the road among an idea and its realisation. Never be reluctant to consider your time, and inquire each individual concern that’s on your brain. An impartial producer will be happy to have that dialogue with you.

(And indeed, you can just be a self-developing artist and fail to remember about all these inquiries!)

By Erin Milne (Bureau of Will work) for Theatre Community Australia. This article was initially posted on 5 September 2018.