Have you seen in movies where the Director of a television show screams at the ‘producer’ to bring him a coffee or a host whines that they need more M&Ms in their trailer?
You get the impression that the job of the Producer is to be the gopher for everyone in the studio. Well actually the producer is no-ones gopher. By the time a program makes the studio a producer has done a lot of work. The gopher in the room in television is the production assistant, a very different job but still one which deserves respect.
Many people often do a double take with me when I say I produce a television show. “But you can’t see?” “You are blind …”
So being able to see has very little to do with television production from a producers point of view.
So What does a Television Producer Do?
A television producer is the lynch pin of any television production. They are the one who looks at a concept for a program, brings together a studio crew including director, host, sound, lighting, set design, camera crews, They approach the broadcaster to sell the concept and they bring in ancilliary people to create the program, editors, costume, hair and make-up. They also arrange the most important part of production feeding a crew.
Catering is very important to a television show. Crews can spend hours on set and working with an empty stomach will soon lead to crews abandoning their positions to find a local fast food palace.
Being blind does not make the production side easy. I still have to know what everyone else is doing, I still have deadlines and I have to be able to express my ideas and concepts about a show to others.
So maintaining a great working relationship based on respect is a must. All these people around me can be my eyes. They want to create a good product, a TV show that people will want to watch and a show which the TV studio will want to play again.
Personally I like to work with people who will talk to me. I want to be able to talk with any member of the crew. Directors especially and have them express ideas. It is difficult for me to understand what is going on if there is no discussion, then I find the programn is not what I wanted and so much time and effort on other peoples parts is wasted. Rarely has working with an uncommunicative director ended up in a better program for me.
But for the most part I love my crews to have fun. They can have a laugh, joke, get to know guests and such. This provides a more relaxed atmosphere and having relaxed guests works better for my programs.
So I hope this post has given you some insight as to how a blind man can be a television producer. It can be hard work, there are parts I don’t enjoy but for the most part it is the best job I have ever had.