As I’ve mentioned in previous emails I’m in prep on a feature right now that starts shooting this month. We first announced it at AFM and yesterday we had another release go out which you can check out here.
Like most of the films I produce, this has been a two-plus year journey. When you come on board a project during development it’s usually a serious long term commitment and sometimes those films make it to the finish line, and sometimes they don’t. I was talking to one of the young producers on my team yesterday about another project she’s working on and has been trying to get traction on for a couple of years….
“How do you know when to leave a project” she asked?
It can be tough to see the forest for the trees when you’ve been mired in development and unable to push things forward to get financing or even talent attachments. Sometimes all it takes is ‘fresh eyes’ from someone who has distance from the project and can see aspects that you can’t. I rely on this a lot when running into obstacles and have a short list of other producers I call for a fresh perspective.
Sometimes though, maybe it is time to move on from a project and release it back to the filmmakers. Here’s the thing, during the years you spend developing something markets shift, things change, and even you change and evolve….and oftentimes a year or two down the track, you’re just not a good fit for something anymore or the project isn’t a good fit for you anymore.
I was talking with a very seasoned producer a few weeks back who ‘cleaned house’ on a bunch of projects on her slate that she had been attached to for years, but felt she was no longer serving the filmmakers by staying on as a producer. She hadn’t been able to make traction on these projects for one reason for another and in the interim, her career also grew and in a different direction even, and she was now prioritizing different things.
So while she is no longer a fit for these projects, the filmmakers are ultimately better off starting with a clean slate, re-grouping, and bringing on another producer who has fresh eyes and can possibly move things forward in a way that hadn’t been done yet.
I think the moral to the story in both of these cases I’m speaking about is this – development of a project is a long game and as things change along the way, sometimes you get closer to a project and more invested in it, and other times you get further away to the point where you’re better off cutting ties than just staying attached to something without bringing any value anymore.
Such a deep topic for a Tuesday morning! LOL. What do you guys think? Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic if you’d like to keep discussing with me in the comments section below..