Danny Fleet, EP and founder of Presence, shares some of the trends beginning to emerge from the anonymous producers survey the company has been conducting
As a producer led business, Presence has been conducting an anonymous producers survey since the beginning of lockdown. We wanted to get an understanding of where producers need more support and how they feel about their work and pay to help our company model for the future.
Submissions have come from agency, production company and brand department producers:
“Every place has a different culture. Some places are great, some places put you under enormous amounts of stress.”
We asked them what three things would make their working life better:
“New clients, interesting work and someone who understands ‘let me look into it’, rather than ‘yes’”
“An on it agency producer, a great exec producer and a director who is not busy on another job at the same time…”
Prod company, agency and brand producers often feel that they are unsupported. A good EP on hand is a vital part of the process. Many feel they are left to deal with difficulties along the way on their own.
“A strong exec producer who can step in as a wingman is invaluable. If only to sit in silence and even out your side of the conference table…”
“I would like for all companies to have a head of production/exec who understands the pressures of producing. I would like more companies to use the latest technology and systems.”
“Production support. They are the foundation to any successful shoot - so rather than cut corners on the amount of prep time and prep people needed I think it helps everyone to make use of effective production support, particularly on the big multi day, multi location shoots.”
Time and money continue to be an issue. Many producers feel that the timing plans are unrealistic and this leads to waste.
“Time allowed in budget for pre-prod, less production staff/assistance available (included in budget) so more pressure on producer.”
Producers feel that there is a lack of understanding of the job required. Often account managers and brand marketeers have little knowledge of the process and this leads to unrealistic expectations and unnecessary barriers into producing good work.
“Last minute client changes / demands that go unchallenged. Mismanaged expectations on all sides.”
All the producers value creativity and the directors highly. It’s the reason they go to work and they want to work on good projects with great talent.
"Crazy, inspirational, as always a trial and a joy."
Lack of transparency between production company, agency and brand is an issue and all felt that a straightforward process reaps huge rewards all around. This goes between all groups:
"A transparent working process between production and agency so that budgets are not weaponised for the sake of profit. The best agency producers I've worked with are the ones who have been transparent about their budgets. This way you work on the basis of mutual trust rather than protectionism."
Production company producers would like to be paid for pitching. It’s a part of the process that requires huge amounts of time and energy from everyone involved and the expectation that this should continue to be done for free rancours with many.
“Pitching. It’s a mess. It needs to be readdressed. Locking in producers ‘per shoot day’ on a one day shoot that takes six to eight weeks to complete and there isn’t money for a PM or even a PA for any length of time. It’s just not a career at that point.”
We are enormously grateful to the producers who have taken the time to complete the survey so far. We have decided to continue to keep running it as attitudes to work change during the covid period. If you are a Producer, please complete the survey here
We will continue to gather and publish results.