Film Craft: Producing [Paperback]

Authors Geoffrey Macnab & Sharon Swart provide readers with a true insight in to what being a producer means, and seek out to break all the stereotypes about producers as a whole. Producers, as the book sets out to explain, aren’t all Hollywood fat cats who seek to remind you about budget. Sometimes they can be collaborators with directors. Sometimes they can be even more passionate about a movie than the actual director working on the film. And sometimes they can inject ideas in to a film to help make it much more entertaining and or approachable to audiences.

Producers are working men and women just like the director and the screenwriter, and “Film Craft: Producing” is a book solely for cinephiles and movie buffs who want to learn more about the industry that carries with it an unfortunate stigma among movie fans who often blame poor quality of a movie on a producer. True, producers can be just suits who come on a set to remind directors about budget and time restraints, but they can be friends to the artist and “Producing” offers accounts from many noted producers, all of whom have brought something unique and specific to the table in terms of cinematic contributions and molding pop culture juggernauts alike.

Among the noted professionals interviewed are Lauren Schuler Donner who explains her experiences working on big budget action franchises, while also chronicling her beginning in more humble commercial fare. There’s also a chapter devoted to John Landau, a producer who began his career producing more artistic fare and soon progressed in to massive commercial endeavors like the “Power Rangers” movies and James Cameron’s projects like “Titanic,” and the ever powerful “Avatar” series. The producers here often range from folks who help fund more humble award fare to foreign and art house fare. They all have something very unique and genuinely interesting to say about molding projects and helping directors, and they inject some fascinating peeks, not only about struggling to sell their films, but about the Hollywood industry as a whole and what it means to the success of a film. Along the way there are also profiles of famous producers like David O. Selznick and Eric Pommer, among many, whom respectively changed the face of movies forever as producers. “Film Craft: Producing” is a very good chapter in a series of books that cineastes will enjoy for great insight in to the system and what it can breed in terms of art and product.