The Producer is the practical brains of the project, organizing the whole production from the seed of an idea through distribution. If we were talking about a construction site, he’d be the Project Manager—the point person for all the plans, funding, schedules, personnel management, budgeting, marketing, and sales.
So the first quality a good producer needs is stellar leadership and management skills. You have to be a “big-picture” person and detail-oriented at the same time. Ability to think on your feet and problem-solve on the fly is essential. The Producer will be the go-to person for major decisions. What you say goes—so you have to be comfortable with that level of responsibility.
However, a Producer needs a healthy measure of creativity, too. Imagination is particularly important, because the Producer needs to clearly imagine the finished product in order to figure out the best approaches for obtaining funds and the ideal distribution avenues.
Because the Producer has to work with everyone on the project, interpersonal skill is a must, and great communication is the key. A good producer can interact effectively with people from all walks of life and in every crew position. It helps if you have a strong background in various video production roles. Working as an Assistant Producer for a few years helps prepare you for the leadership position in the future.
Endurance and resilience are further marks of a high-quality Producer. You’ll likely be working long, hard hours and will face myriad challenges. Keeping your chin up, being on the spot, and rolling with the punches will be the order of the day.
Honesty, empathy, multitasking under pressure, and an easygoing, personable attitude—if you have these qualities, you’ve got a start toward being a good producer.