Production was my first love.
I remember the heady early days of producing. From the excitement of the first Arri trucks rolling into location to wandering around disused swimming pools on recces or shooting in a dusty diner in the Arizona desert. I loved being a producer. And remember those wardrobe freebies at the end of the shoot or the make overs before heading out on a night out? Yep, I knew I had arrived.
However, at some point just before kids and after 30, I fell out of love. I was out of patience for haggling over rates with testy gaffers, endless boring call sheets, or the many late nights ahead of a shoot. And yes, even the breakfast spreads at the studios lost their appeal. It was time to get out.
And then I had kids.
I quickly realised that I was not able to be both mum at home and at work. I couldn’t console a toddler and come in to work and do the same for a Director. I couldn’t be up at 3am dispensing calpol or alternatively pulling on my mountain boots. I had just run out of patience for being Chief Sorter out-er-of-all-things. CEO of taking shit, or wiping it up.
Don’t get me wrong. Not every producer I know feels this way, and many are still as passionate about their work as they were 20 years a go. And I know, there’s a lot going for it. I just ran out of steam, or passion, or both.
Since then I have had 4 careers. One as Business Director. One as Director of Production. One as Consultant. Now a Coach. Becoming a consultant was both liberating and terrifying – liberating in that I was paid to advise and not do. Terrifying in that I could no longer hide behind a Director and for the first time, was the headline act.
And why is any of this interesting to you?
I am increasingly coaching people – many in production – who have come to the natural end of their production careers, and if they are honest, have for some time known it. Many of us came to production because we wanted to be in the creative industries and knew we were, in essence creative people. Sometimes producing didn’t scratch enough of that creative itch and we now want to go back to what we loved doing when we were a kid.
Others of us have simply had enough of being chief sorter out-er both at home and at work. Others want to find more balance. Others want to dance to their tune and not the tune of the Director. Or the Client. Or the boss.
If any of this sounds familiar, please get in touch. Come to the HOME OF FRAZZLED PRODUCERS and be healed.