Richard Nakhle is a Marketing graduate who started his work as an assistant film editor at The Talkies back in 1994. His portfolio includes around 1000 projects, spanning from TV commercials and music videos to short films and documentaries. His career as a producer started in 2012 and he still enjoys it today – describing it as ‘challenging and stressful’ but rewarding and exciting. Film editing is still his first passion, which is why he’s taking editing side projects while working as a producer at The Talkies.
LBB> What first attracted you to production - and has it been an industry you’ve always worked on or did you come to it from another area?
Richard> I came to Production by chance. My University degree was in Marketing and Sales and my first training was at a Lebanese TV station. And it all started there!
LBB> What was your first role in the production world and how did this experience influence how you think about production and how you grew your career?
Richard> I started as an Assistant Video Editor, three years later I became a senior editor. 10 years after I became an executive post-producer but I kept my passion for editing alive. I am still accepting some editing jobs while being selective of course.
LBB> How did you learn to be a producer?
Richard> I was supervising some jobs that I edited and was managing the workflow till the delivery. This included financials, bookings, input and team/artists management.
LBB> Looking back to the beginning of your career, can you tell us about a production you were involved in where you really had to dig deep and that really helped you to grow as a producer?
Richard> We produced a huge campaign for a Telco and it was fully shot on green screen. So, imagination and speculation were key elements in order to succeed. It was challenging but a great learning curb too.
LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to digital experience. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why/why not?
Richard> I fully agree. Producing a two hour feature film or a 10 second Insta video requires the same commitment and planning. The final outcome will be your visa for the next job.
LBB> What’s your favourite thing about production and why?
Richard> Delivering on time with zero compromise.
LBB> How has production changed since you started your career?
Richard> The Digital era made the workflow faster. The film (16 and 35 mm) era had more emotions and respect for the industry. Client expectations are higher now. This is my opinion at least.
LBB> And what has stayed the same?
Richard> Team management and challenge, I guess.
LBB> What do you think is the key to being an effective producer - and is it something that’s innate or something that can be learned?
Richard> Team leadership is key. Solutions provider and communication skills are a must too. It’s innate in my opinion.
LBB> Which production project from across your career are you most proud of and why?
Richard> GHADI (feature film) was the most challenging and enjoyable project. Working on a feature takes you to a different dimension of emotions and skills. It’s like living in peace and harmony with your body, mind and soul if I may say.
LBB> And in terms of recent work, which projects have you found to be particularly exciting or have presented particularly interesting production challenges?
Richard> Ford F-150 was the most challenging job. We had around eight hours (daylight) only to secure more than 30 action shots. It was a desert shoot with 10 cameras and more than 20 precision drivers.
LBB> What are your personal ambitions or aspirations as a producer?
Richard> Producing more branded content in parallel with TV commercials, which are still our daily bread. Maintaining stamina is a continuous aspiration too.
LBB> As a producer your brain must have a never ending "to do" list. How do you switch off? What do you do to relax?
Richard> I totally agree, especially when you are OCD too. Long breaks are the only remedy in my opinion. Long trips with no email access should secure a fresh start for sure.
LBB> Producers are problem solvers. What personally fuels your curiosity and drive?
Richard> Continuous learning and bigger achievements.
LBB> What advice would you give to people who are interested in becoming a producer?
Richard> Patience, a friendly approach and long working hours are key to success.
LBB> From your experience what are the ingredients for a successful production?
Richard> Production crew professionalism, the family spirit on set and the delicious food of course!
LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?
Richard> Transparency, fast problem solving and deadline respect.
LBB> One specifically for EPs: Producers are naturally hands on - they have to be. How do you balance that in the more managerial role of an EP?
Richard> An EP should see the big picture in my opinion. Securing the budget with zero compromises on quality. Also, an EP should play a big role when facing an obstacle on set and his main duty is to calm the client while finding solutions of course.