find articles by Author

5 Jobs You Can Do to Be Useful to Producers

0

Etta DevineAs a follow up to my article 5 Things you can do to be useful to producers I’d like to add 5 jobs. 5 really important, totally hard and full careers in their own right that can make you valuable to producers.

If your response is “but acting (or) writing IS my job” then please send my stuff to your agent.  If you’ve realized that being one of a bazillion creatives in the business isn’t enough to get you hired then consider some schooling, whether it be by yourself with YouTube or in a classroom. Here’s what producers need and how you could become a “we have to have her” instead of a “she was good, we’ll see.”

1. Graphic Designer

I am super blessed to know genius graphic designer (among other things) Lee Thompson. He did the design and layout for my book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn {Robotic Edition}, the poster for my feature film The Selling, and he’s working on my new film Diani And Devine Meet The Apocalypse. His collaboration, taste and abilities are invaluable and were he an actor he would have wracked up enough points to take my part.

So if you get real good at graphic design, not only can you support yourself but you can become valuable enough to producers that they will always cast you, or if you’re a writer they will read your script. These things are much more valuable to you than submitting blind along with the other 12,482 actors online that weekend.

Poster-51-Poster

2. Onset Photographer

A lot of people making stuff won’t realize how important this position is until they’re trying to come up with high-resolution photos for press packets and distributors. You’d think with camera’s that shoot in 4k you could just grab any old screen shot for stuff like the poster. You’d be wrong. Then you’d have to schedule another photo shoot years after the movie is done and spend a lot of time with your genius graphic designer constructing a poster. Hypothetically.

Anyway, an onset photographer is important. Even if you might never sell your project or have a serious press packet you will want someone there taking pictures of everything (even stuff you think you got in camera) so you’ll have new stuff to post on social media all through the long post process when your actors and crew have moved on and your project is dead in the water publicity-wise.

One of our two brilliant onset photographers for The Selling, Karianne Flaathen, is also one of my favorite actresses and I would cast her anyway, but the fact that she is so generous with her photography skills means she’s essential.

3. Composer

This one requires (in my opinion) that you already have a history in this. If you do and you haven’t considered doing music for small projects then you might want to put it out there that you’re considering it.

I’m convinced that we have the best composer ever in the world in Geoff Mann who did the score for The Selling and almost everything else Gabriel Diani and I have done lately.

But not everybody knows about Geoff, and if you’re an actor who will also score that web series and people know about it you can bet that your IMDB will grow accordingly.

4. Owner of Production Equipment

One of the longest IMDB’s I’ve ever seen is from a cool guy who owns production rental equipment and gives a little discount if he’s in the movie. This is a great strategy and could pretty much be extended to any job on this list or related to this list.

5. Editor

There are a lot of editors out there. The ones who are working tend to get paid more than someone waiting tables between auditions can imagine. Yet all the budgetless projects out there get edited somehow. This is because sometimes the filmmaker does it and some editors are really, really nice.

Chad Meserve is Diani & Devine’s go-to editor (we have some stellar backups too) and when they say that a movie is rewritten in editing they are right. His input and skill are beyond essential.  The importance of the position of editor cannot be exaggerated so…

If you become a good editor you can become that essential piece of a project too. And who wouldn’t give an essential piece a part or ten?

Like I said, these are all really hard jobs that have gigantic learning curves. That’s the only reason people don’t learn to do them all themselves. Well some people do, but not everyone is a one-man production team like Joe Wilson.  But if you start thinking about this stuff early in your career the producer you become essential to might be yourself.  You’ll be soooo glad you have one less job to worry about.

Etta Devine

About Etta Devine

Etta Devine is an actor, filmmaker, and writer with a script on the 2017 Blacklist and one of 2017's Movie Maker Magazine's 25 Screenwriters to watch. With partner Gabriel Diani she directed, wrote, produced and starred in the feature film “Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse” which premiered at the 2016 Austin film festival and won awards from the Mill Valley Film Festival, Spokane International Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival, San Luis Obispo Film Festival, and many others. She co-produced and starred in the horror comedy “The Selling,” ruined classic literature by creating “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Robotic Edition” and is a member of the Antaeus Classical Theatre Company in Los Angeles and the Film Fatales. She recently recorded voices for the popular Frederator cartoon “Bee and Puppycat“ and wrote multiple episodes of its upcoming second season.