Snapshot of Q&A session on Film Producing with Cecilia Ang
Here are some of the Q’s asked by our students during HANDS-ON Filmmaking International Workshop on April 13-15, 2018 to Cecilia Ang, Executive Producer in Little Red Ants Saigon, who previously worked in the production team of “Asia’s Got Talent” in Singapore.
What is the role of the producer?
Producer is the person that is orchestrating the entire process of Film production. There is a popular saying that no movie has ever been made without a producer. Producer recruits the team (including director and DoP), manages the team, foresees all difficulties and prevents them, trouble-shoots, makes sure all actions of the process are on track and simply gets things done. All the needs and requirements are taken care of by Producer.
Producer ‘muppet-masters’ all stages of production (see below):
Upon receiving a Brief, a good Producer has imagination and practical experience to see the story already brought to life, what resources are needed to accommodate the project and get it done, what are the underwater stones, feasible timeline and expected quality of the final product. Budget has to be settled and aligned before the project kicks off.
Improper preparation and small details missed out (like absence of permission to shoot at a certain location) can potentially let many people down, cause unforeseen extra expenses and even ruin a project.
How often it happens that the project is being changed?
All the time, but the change has to be reasonable, contributing and worth the effort.
Producer has to know how to say ‘no’, but this ‘no’ has to be firmly justified or Producer must be sure that she/he tried her/his best but it didn’t work (in both cases Producer should always have a solution instead of just ‘no’).
What is a normal duration of commercial shooting?
In Vietnam 5 am to 10 pm can be considered a ‘normal’ shooting day. Often clients want to fit more work (scenes) in just 1 shooting day, so Producer needs to explain them why longer duration is not possible or unsafe.
What is the headcount for a crew in a film/video project?
Number of people on the set depends on a scale and complexity of the project. Here’s the complete list of various teams and designations in a production team.
What is the difference between Offline and Online editing?
Offline – editing of raw material put in a timeline to follow the storytelling flow. No color grading, sound dubbing etc for far. The outcome has to be evaluated only in terms of the flow, frames transition etc, but the colors are still flat, there is no proper sound yet and so on.
Online – polishing the final edit in terms of transitions, color grading, music and sound final mix, special effects etc until the final material for release is ready.
Normally Offline and Online is done by different editors, specialized in their field.
What are the main tips you can give to a beginner?
Don’t be afraid to ask and always be nice to people. It is a stressful job, don’t let feelings take over you. When the project is accomplished, it pays off greatly in emotional sense.
Always try your best before you say ‘no’.
Be prepared for any scenario. All the small and big things that would ruin the situation can be foreseen and prevented.
The key sign that the project is perfectly prepared is when no person is shouting “Where is our producer?!” at the set.
Give us a shout if you’d like to join a deep-dive Producer HANDS-ON Course and we will tailor this course for you depending on your experience. Do not hesitate to send an inquiry to [email protected]