10 attributes of a Great Producer

Source: John Truby, Raindance Contributing writer

Here are 10 things you must know to be a great producer:

1. When listening to a pitch, focus on the probable structural problems embedded in the story idea. Every idea comes with them. You want to figure out now if they are solvable or not.

2. No matter how good an idea sounds at first, it will inevitably have elements that are predictable and generic. Ask yourself: What are some of the possibilities of this idea? Where can we take this that is more ambitious and hasn’t been done before?

3. Most story ideas, especially “high concept” ones, produce only two or three great scenes. You have to know how to help the writer extend the idea to a feature length script. That requires focusing on the opposition and the central moral problem embedded in the story idea.

4. Most of the time, the second draft is worse than the first. That’s because writers and producers don’t know that rewriting and development are a unique set of skills that must be learned, just like character, plot and dialogue. And the most important of this set of skills is knowing the proper order for development.

5. Good script development is all about fixing the structure and not the surface of the script. Dialogue is the surface. Deal with that only at the very end. Often it will fix itself as you work with the writer on getting the structure right. There are many elements involved in fixing story structure. But the most important is to make sure the main character drives the plot.

5 More attributes of a great producer

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