Producer’s Panel (Various Producers, 2012): USA

Reviewed by Brendan Beaghler at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

 The producer’s panel was one of my favorite events at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. It allowed me to see  more of managerial position of a film and learn some insight on how much effort it takes to get a film together. The producers panel featured Graham King from Hugo, Thomas Longmann from The Artist, Mike De Luca from Moneyball, Bill Pohald from the Tree of Life, Jim Burke from the Descendants, and Letty Aronson from Midnight in Paris.

Each of the producers were asked a various questions and I learned a lot from their answers. Letty Aronson talked about the struggles of dealing with French government in order to film their movie. The director of Midnight in Paris has one of my favorite director’s Woody Allen. She stressed the importance of the director and producer relationship and making sure the director get what he wants. In the case of Woody Allen she said he has a lot rules until he will do a film, and making sure they have enough money to produce the film is one of his rules. He wants to be able to do the film the way he invisions it and if he does not have enough money, he will not do it.

Another big issue discussed by the panel was the financial aspects of producing a film. Graham King said there are always financial obstacles that have to be dealt with, but it is worth it in order to create a masterpiece. In order to get funding on the international level it has to do a lot with connections.

One of my favorite movies I saw last year was Moneyball starring Brad Pitt. Mike De Luca said the film took nine years to make, which totally surprised me. He also talks about how he did the film because it related the story related to him as a father and he liked to doing inspirational sport movies. Mike Da Luca said that Brad Bitt was “the champion that got this film across the finish line.” Besides acting, Brad was very involved in the film from the very beginning with editing the script, budgeting, and finding a director. Mike Da Luca acknowledged the fact having an actor as dedicated as Brad Pitt was a huge help to the production of the movie because he made the producers job a little easier.

Jim Burke also talked about how the producers have to find ways to stretch out their budgets. His film Descendants was filmed in Hawaii and in order to save money they used a lot of locals for the film. They worked with numerous local actors and crew members to cut down expenses. For the film they tried to get as much footage as possible in short amount of time because the high cost of filming. They only did filming for  52 days, but cost it them 20 million dollars to do.

Producers have to do a lot of behind the scene work in order to insure the production of a film. Overall though, it seems like a fun job to do and I would not mind doing it someday.

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