Ira Glass on the strange life of the producer

A couple earnest gems from Ira Glass on the strange life of the producer. Hat tip to Smarter Creativity.

I’d never really been on the set of a film and I didn’t realize the grueling hours of it. And I thought, this is because we’re an independent film, right? That we’re here for fourteen hours? … Wait, so when professional movie people make a film and they have more than a million bucks do this, this is the deal? Yea, this is the deal. I was really stunned.

I feel like everybody in America understands the stuff from watching DVD extras that it takes a long time… they have to light stuff, you know they shoot one actor and the other actor… you know that if you’re an entertainment consumer, but to be there and actually understand, that’s really real. You really have to do that. I understand it in my cells now, in a way that, I don’t know that I’m glad.

When you create a project, there’s always the ratio of here’s the fun part that you really like. And here’s the tedious thing you have to do to get it started, get the funding, organize it… In every project there’s kind of a balance. And there’s a grueling part of editing, re-editing, re-thinking. And so there’s the grueling part and a fun part. And it’s always a balance, as in any job.

In film, the proportion of gruel to the proportion of fun, is so unbelievably outsized, it’s crazy… It’s weird that people do it for a living.

Totally weird! Haha. On some days you do cap at 8-10 hours, especially if you’re on a project where no one can afford to be charged overtime. But more often than not, especially in post-production, a “half-day” means 12 hours not 4 ;).

And, also, good producers don’t get enough love. A good producer is often the difference between the success or failure of a project, no question.

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