Schmoozee versus Schmoozer
How does the job of a Film Producer differ from working in an advertising agency to working in a film production house? Simple, in an agency you are the 'schmoozee' and in a production company, you are the 'schmoozer'.
Two Film Producers, who defected from the other side and who are now working at Fresh Eye Productions, regale the good and the bad of both.
Jill Lotriet, who moved away from schmoozee status, says: "Is the grass greener on the other side? For me it is. Ultimately, producers anywhere have the same job and that is to facilitate the process of a production. But as an agency producer, you have to juggle various jobs, creative teams, suppliers and clients at any one time. All the while ensuring that each one is kept well informed. Depending on the agency and its people, this can be a very different experience because the job is all about relationships and management skills."
"Film production companies by their very nature are more focused and this allows for more attention to be paid to the specific project at hand, which is making great commercials. Crossing over to the world of managing film directors is exciting and it's really rewarding watching the director's vision come to life," says Lotriet.
Ashley Kruger, who is also ad agency born and bred and who has also made the transition explains: "It is difficult to compare the experiences and environments as they differ so greatly, but my job description has now changed in a way, which is easier to explain. Instead of being pedastalled, I now live in the hope that agencies will view my showreels, return my numerous phone calls and accept my quotes. One would then query why it seems to have become a common trend for producers to make the move from agency to film production house. Are they enticed by the money or repelled by the agency politics or do they just want a smaller, more family like team to work with?"
Yes, the money is better, but the personal financial risk is greater because you only earn if you work. It is true that the production houses don't seem to involve themselves in the politics that seem to be intrinsic in most agencies. But mostly I think it's about being part of the creative process, working with a tight-knit team and working with a great film director where you get to watch the genius up close and ...... not personal. Also, there are film production companies and there are film production companies and I think I managed to carve a niche for myself in one of the best.
I sometimes miss the dynamics of a big agency buzz, but I don't miss juggling jobs and the various personalities that go with them. And I no longer have the stress of managing the production of a detergent, a beer and a bank advert all due for flighting on the same day," says Kruger.
"Although now I get to dress down each day and can buy a slightly better car - it's still a case of 'don't call us, we'll call you'."
Tracy O'Brien Publicity
011 325 5656
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Fresh Eye has six of the most talented and creative film directors in South Africa who are backed by professional and dedicated producers.