I went to a public talk last week by Jack Binder, Hollywood film and TV producer, and Antony I. Ginnane, prolific Australian film producer. The talk was hosted by RMIT School of Media & Communication and Film Victoria. I have long thought that the producer’s perspective is somewhat undervalued in many discussions about film and television, so it was great to hear two experienced and accomplished practitioners of this role talk about their work.
Anthony gave a colourful account of the recent history of the Australian film industry, in which he has played a significant role: the relaxing of film censorship in the sixties and seventies and the role this had in the revival of the almost extinct industry, the 10BA tax incentive era and what he feels is the growing strength of the industry.
Jack offered a number of insights into producing. Three I noted were:
1. Producers know a little about every area of filmmaking but are not specialists in any of them. They hire the specialists.
2. No-one knows what a producer does until something goes wrong (and something goes wrong constantly).
3. Jack’s advice to young people looking for a job with him: the words he stressed were ‘well-rounded’ and ‘enthusiastic’.