on 10 January 2007
This is an amazing book for any would be Producer, or anybody interested in acquiring a broader understanding of the producer's role in the film industry.
Author and experienced Producer turned lecturer, Lawrence "Larry" Turman, gives a thorough insight into the producer's journey.
We're reminded throughout that there is no right or wrong way to produce, however we're taught to focus on the power of flexibility, tenacity and individuality, whilst maintaining a level of integrity through good personal values and the power of self belief, in an industry where rejection is the norm, and you're only as good (barely) as your last job.
Lawrence basically describes how each producer ultimately becomes the captain of a continuously sinking ship (the unfinished film), hiring writers, directors, cast, crew; whilst acting as a maternal figure in synergising all these talents together to ultimately get to shore, alive (make a finished film)!
He touches on the pain/pleasures of answering to studio executives, "superior" Directors and the odd cast member who seems intent to make your life a nightmare. Not to give too much away, but there's a segment in the book which refers to Judy Garland, and judging by the content I'd say her temperament and good manners were left 'somewhere over the rainbow'. It was at this point in the book where I actually laughed out loud for the first time too.
Turman's ability to provide a continuous professional insight, addressing strong key issues that every would be producer should know (i.e. Where do you find a story, How do you control the story, How do you develop the script, etc.), whilst incorporating elements of humour through case studies and personal experience, are the elements that make this book one that you simply can't put down.
However when you're done, you can beautifully refer to again and again when in need of inspiration and what ultimately becomes, a valued old friend in the power that Turman weaves through you, with straight talk, hard facts and the general tools that offer you a clear insight when you bring yourself to look in the mirror and ask yourself:
"So you want to be a Producer"?