The producer title is one of this tricky title used and misused all the time.

I am regularly asked by friends outside the industry what are the difference between a producer, a producer, a producer, and an executive producer, an executive producer, and a… You got the drill; even though people use the same word, it can mean a million different things.

Some producers bring money, some producers bring names and goodies, and some producers don’t do shit and it is very unclear why they are credited.

And of course, the producer title means something different when it comes from a studio or an indie production.  

Yesterday, Carson Reeves from Scriptshadow, revealed in the article What the hell does a producer do???  that he was planning to become a producer himself, creating Scriptshadow Productions.

I recommend you read his article; Carson explains that he was unaware of what producers exactly do, that he started figuring it out and decided this might be the next logical step for him to take, after his recent success.

As you know, I am a  Scriptshadow aficionada, thanks to Carson I got the chance to read a lot of scripts, bad, good or great, and thanks to his reviews I learned a lot about script construction.

His last article took me by surprise though, I always envisioned him like a great manager, but a producer? This is a very different type of skill sets we’re talking about.

Many people reacted to Carson’s article in different ways (see article’s comments). One of the major problem posed by his opponents is that there is a massive conflict of interests when you present yourself as both a (paid) reader and a producer.

F. Scott Frazier, aka @Screenwritten, wrote several tweets about this announcement, regarding the producer title and what it means. I thought his point of view was relevant (and I enjoyed his passion), so I decided to put it below:

So what do you think?
Does being a great script reader who found couple of pearl in the sea means you could be a great producer? Would you be willing to pay for notes on your script if you knew the reader is also a producer?
The debate is just starting I guess and the future will tell us if Scriptshadow Productions is a sustainable idea and will, as hoped, help to put back stories in the center of deals.

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By mentorless| 4 Comments | Directing and Directors, Filmmakers Tools, Personal Buzz, Writing and Writers

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  1. As I read this I suddenly thought of what is called a “producer” in the insurance industry: a sales person. The “Producer” producers customers/clients. Some producers bring in tons of clients because they are well connected. Some develop clients and make new friends. Being able to sell makes a good manager or teacher. In a collaborative environment one is always selling to achieve cooperation and motivate. I enjoy putting things together in unique combinations. This does not make me a producer. It’s makes me an artist/creative. Producing is also creative with the added function of selling. Thanks for the article.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Elaine. I agree, priceless producers are those who combine a strong business side with a good understanding and instinct for creativity.

  2. In my mind, a producer that is worth more than other producers is the kind that sees a movie with their guiding hand from its inception, through its production, post- production, its release and distribution and knows what the hell they’re doing from start to finish, which is something that takes a lot of practice and work and mentoring to achieve. The idea of a reader becoming a producer is not offensive, producers have to start from somewhere just like anybody for any job. The idea of someone thinking that they could be a producer solely because they’re a “good reader” (a term that should never be uttered by said person) is really offensive and laughable. I don’t know this guy from Adam, and maybe he will be a great producer, but he’d better have a hell of a lot more up his sleeve than being a good reader if he wants to be a good producer.

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