The Role of the Producer as an Optimistic Advocate ​

Posted by Jeremy Wingle on July 23, 2018

“We’re going to advocate for something that may not have necessarily been in their plan.”

In this episode, Director of Business Development Jeremy Wingle sits down with Myriad’s Executive Producer Chris Young. We reflect on Chris’ journey from working as a production assistant at one of Nashville’s top production companies in the mid-90s to climbing the ranks at Myriad over the last 18 years.

We discuss how the role of the Myriad Producer has evolved into an advocate for a brand’s video marketing goals.

 

Key takeaways from the conversation:

  • How working as a production assistant is a great way to learn the ropes of commercial video production.
  • Production is a team sport and being willing to jump in at all times will lead to opportunities to expand your skill set.
  • Sometimes being willing to tackle a discipline that is frustrating to others can lead to opportunities for more responsibility.
  • As executive producer, Chris aims to facilitate a smooth transition from new client conversations to project kick-off.
  • The core differences in mindset between creative directors & producers.
  • The benefit of having a producer that can focus on their primary role of preventing changeover penalties’ as a project progresses.
  • The drawbacks of hiring jack-of-all-trades freelance producers.
  • How setting expectations at the beginning of an engagement is crucial to working efficiently toward keeping projects on-time and on-budget.
  • How being a good producer is not just about finding available talent but being selective about hiring the right creatives & crew based on the specific needs of a project.
  • The advantages of having a producer that can guide you through all parts of the creative video production process from video strategy to creative production, post-production, and distribution optimization.
  • How optimism and creative problem solving guide the mentality and ethos of Myriad’s producers.

Top quotes:

“Every day, it changes a little bit, but I think right now, my role as executive producer is to really ensure …a couple things: that we have a really smooth transition from the client’s perspective between the sales process and production, that we educate our clients and set them up for success. So just making sure that they have understanding of our process, and we set expectations appropriately for each project.”

“You want to make sure that you fully understand what the client’s goals are so that you can make sure the creative team is servicing those goals, but you also want to advocate for the creatives and the goal. One of the biggest goals of the producer is to eliminate roadblocks, to make sure that the creatives have as much runway, as much flexibility, as much information that they can to do their best work.”

“Instead of ‘We can’t because of,’ it’s ‘How can we do this in a way that meets the expectation or exceeds the expectation,” how can we?’ versus ‘we can’t do this.’ Producers are known to think about worst case scenario and plan for that, or plan around that, and we do that, but again, it’s a tweak in the mindset.”

Credits

Recording Engineers: Hillary Scott & Melissa Douglas

Editor: Paula Juri

Producer: Hillary Scott

 


TRANSCRIPT

JEREMY: So, Chris, tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up here on this podcast.

CHRIS: Sure. I started out in school of design, or I was trying to get in the school of design. I applied thrice, and then just decided I’ll just be an engineer because I couldn’t get into the school of design.

JEREMY: That’s the easier route?

CHRIS: I was going to be an engineer because all my friends are doing it, you know?

JEREMY: Makes sense.

CHRIS: When I was a kid, I wanted to be, from the time that I was like six years old to probably my teens, I wanted to be a disc jockey. I wanted to be on the radio and spin records.

JEREMY: That’s coming back now apparently, so maybe you should have seen that through.

CHRIS: Yeah, I mean, all I wanted to do was listen to music all day. So, I thought, when I started thinking about what it is that I wanted to do, I was getting back to that mode of I still have interest in that. So, I was looking around for classes. I was thinking about transferring to UNC for their radio program. I was at NC State. and got into some of those production classes and just fell in love very quickly with the audio and video production classes.

JEREMY: Cool.

CHRIS: Graduated with decent grades actually, and my wife and I, I actually got married in college, and we moved to Nashville for her job, and I got a job out there in Nashville at probably one of the biggest production companies in Tennessee at the time, and worked as a production assistant and learned a ton. We were doing some pretty extensive productions with lots of celebrity entertainers and stuff, which was pretty cool, and I got to be on a few pretty big productions.

JEREMY: Cool. What type of work was that?