Jana Orlova

Why are film producers needed in marketing?

Literārā publicistika Sleja

Why are film producers needed in marketing? (The Shadow Day Edition)

This year on April 4 was The Shadow Day, which took place all over a small country called Latvia and is a very important day for children/youth as it gives them a glimpse of what the future might hold for them. They can “shadow” the profession in which they are interested in pursuing or just “testing the water”. And for some children, it is an excuse not to go to school. I remember my Shadow Day. I knew even then that I wanted to get into the creative world, so I thought I would “shadow” someone who was in a creative industry.

I wanted to be in television or editorial, of course, but understandably there was a lot of competition to get in. That’s how I ended up with a Project Manager who worked in a weird dance studio that probably doesn’t exist anymore. I only remember that a Project Manager talked about herself and in the background there were dancers dancing. My Shadow day was maybe an hour. But that’s okay because during my studies I had internships in television, editorial offices, radio, theatre, galleries, etc.

I actually remember in my internships that there were also people who worked in the creative industry without a university degree, or with a university degree but in another field which at that time I found super weird, because I was young and naive and didn’t think that in life interests can change, or family or financial situations can make you change career. This happened to me- I am a TV and film producer who works in marketing. And I am not the only one.

Latvia has a small film industry. Limited. Small. Wild. Ungrateful. That’s why most of my university group (I stalked some of you) work in marketing, because it’s an environment where you can create content and organise processes. It’s like TV and film, but not the same (as my colleague says – same, same, but different). But maybe we should talk not about why producers fit into marketing, but about why marketing needs content producers?

The Producer – The one in the middle of the creative process and organisation.

The Producer has a “friendship” with and understands the video. At least in my case, my knowledge and understanding of how to construct a story and present it to the viewer through sight, sound and motion is extremely valuable. You have an idea for a video, but how do you get to the end result? How do you organise it all? Who knows how long it will take to set up the cameras, and lights, test, shoot, and finally edit? Who will do it all?

The Producer -, Multi-tasker, artist, organiser and all round “dogsbody”.

As a “producer” I have done it all, because I must know the 5W rule – what, when, where, why, how and ultimately how much it costs and where you can get it (In Latvian it sounds better – 5K – kad, kur, kāpēc, kā un kas un galu galā cik tas maksā un kur Tu vari dabūt). I’ve been a housekeeper, a cook, an actress, a clapper, an assistant in every department, spent and organised the budget, held the director’s and cameraman’s hand, and been a therapist. I’ve done jobs I probably shouldn’t have done, but who else is going to do it but the producer? Even when something terrible happens, everyone in the room collectively stares at the producer even if it’s not their fault. People expect you to fix problems or find a solution, that’s why content producers fit in marketing, because we always find the way to fix situations.

The Producer – independent worker and team player.

I do some things better on my own, but that doesn’t work in all cases, so the producer also needs to be able to work as a team to be able to coordinate everything. This is an integral skill in marketing where you can be juggling a whole range of projects at one time.

As you can see (I hope), Film and TV Producer and Content Producer are “same, but different”. working with “content”, planning, co-ordinating, controlling, budgeting and ultimately delivering to the audience. That’s why I told the “young shadowers aka students” that, yes, I have a background in film and TV, but my knowledge and experience is useful in marketing for that reason. And if your mum says you won’t find a job, know that it is possible, but at the same time -It. Depends. On. You. That’s why I advised them to be brave.

I also warned them not to study audio-visual media or art if they:

  1. want to be a millionaire
  2. are expecting to get a job straight after university
  3. are not completely crazy

Oops, I may have scared them a little, but hopefully they understand how passionate you need to be.


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