To Produce
pro·duce: -verb, 1. bring forth or yield;

Some years ago, an acquaintance approached me with an idea for an cartoon series, asking if I would be interested in animating a pilot. I liked it, but burdened with my own visions and not enough time or VC to actualize them all, I turned it down, and instead hit up a producer friend to find out what steps this person might take to get his idea off the ground. Below is his response, baffling to my young friend, while presenting the kind of raucous intellectualism that always leaves me a bit weak in the knees.

Most of the time the curse and sometimes blessing of being a good producer is exactly what the title declares, to “produce.” What that may be or the context in which those skills are collaborated with varies with each passing of a paddle at an BDSM parlor.  Now lets think about this for moment. If someone has good ideas but no materials to express these ideas than what is there to produce? Something from the mind of someone else as opposed to one’s own…. Ponder.

Now. If this strapping young lad, which I’m sure he is for you to give any sort of consideration to, has in fact something more than a thought, thus pictures, places, things in which to express those ideas, then I may be encouraged to take a look. Further, if he were to have said pilot from a well skilled animator as if it were the first episode, well then I’d say he was ready to get into the game. But then, if the idea is not good enough for such an animator to work on in her own free time, then why would she think someone else might be?

The plot thickens.

The word hired implies that someone is paying someone else for services to be rendered. When you do not pay someone for their services in advance they become your partner, your boss or your victim. All three have had similar outcomes. Usually in this circumstance, if the materials supported the reality of the vision and solid materials existed for third parties to be engaged with, then said Producer could Produce that vision. Adding, subtracting, rearranging and generally letting people know that it exists. From that point, it’s the work and the materials that communicate the vision that ultimately determine the path in which an answer will be given.

Ponder more….

Everyone who puts in the sweat equity for an idea knows that not every idea becomes a reality. Obstacles will besiege the vision and its ultimate course for survival. A good producer will act as a guide through that course and no matter how many times he may have walked through that trail once before, new forces can appear to be consumed by the appetite of challenge. Only those willing to hack their way through new growth, time and time again, will be able to deliver visions. Some may survive the journey, others will be left in the jungles of ambition.

In the heat of the morning.

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