The Producer Mentality

Douglas E. Welch 

Every day I meet a lot of different people, from a lot of different industries, but due to the fact that my wife is a television writer and I live in Los Angeles, I am especially surrounded by entertainment-minded people.

Whenever I start talking podcasting with these folks, they inevitably turn to discussions of finding a network, pitching a show and having someone pay them to make the show. While that might have worked in the old world, although none too well, in today’s environment, you don’t pitch a show and wait for someone else to say they like it…you produce it.

That’s right, everyone is now, or at least should be, a producer of their own content. We have spent years being directed by agents, managers, directors and producers, currying their favor in the slim hope that they might cast us in their latest show, hire us to write their script or produce our heartfelt project. That world is quickly dying.

The limiting factor of distribution has finally been broken. This should be obvious when videos on YouTube are being watched by hundreds of thousands of people and podcasts have listenerships of tens of thousands. For the first time ever, you are able to produce your show and deliver it to the screens of millions of people, not just in America, but around the world. You don’t have to have your project approved by a TV network, radio conglomerate or movie studio. You gather your money, your equipment and your utmost creativity and make it happen.

Sure, if your creation garners enough attention, the big media might come calling, but this shouldn’t be your end goal. Increasingly, as Internet distribution models continue to open up and money start to flow into these new media options, you might find you can make more money without the network and studios of today. Even better, you will retain more control over your content and retain more of the income derived from it. There is no need to pay the middleman anymore, unless they are truly providing a service.

So, now is the time for everyone to start thinking like a producer. What would you “love” to create? Who would like to hear it, see it, read it? How can you reach out to them? How much will it cost?

These days, the costs involved in spreading your message are rapidly approaching zero. Days, months and years spent gathering financial backing are much less of an issue in new media than traditional media. Using today’s technology, you can produce high-quality audio and video productions for a fraction of what the equipment alone would have cost your only 5 years ago.

My message? You need to get the producer mentality and start creating your own content. Now, I realize that not everyone wants to become a producer. That’s fine, but you, at the very least, will need to partner up with someone who does have the producer mentality. Waiting on agents, managers and the traditional gatekeepers is no longer required and certainly not in your best interest.

What’s your next production?

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