…I represent the product, define its objectives and track its progress. I’m called, Producer, because it is my task to “own” the vision behind the product and where it should go, representing needs of both intended viewers and the enterprise. In light of resources and the creative team’s input, I choose what to work on when and make the call when a product has achieved its objectives.
When I approach making a motion picture as a product for consumers, consideration of public taste shapes both story and style. Depictions of physical violence and terror meet some popular tastes. Slap stick comedy, romance, satire and in every genre, love and erotic desire. A style appropriate to any particular audience can be found for every story. Understanding the audience expected to follow a story may be partially informed by focus groups or other opinions but ultimately, the audience for a movie reflects the spirit in which the story is told, a context for which a producer is responsible.
I contribute to a team’s completion of its work by planning and completing projects with team members acting as elements in a neural network that incorporates experience informed from the perspectives of their particular disciplines, including coders, testers and user experience designers, marketing leaders as well as musicians, editors and writers. I work with colleagues from all these specializations to design, build and perfect the product in the context of the spirit in which the story is being told.
Desire for perfection of the product is reflected in the approach of each team member to the task. In cinematography, for example, this shows up in heightened sensitivity to the experience of the object in focus, an emotional cognition about that object–this differs from rational decision making, because the cognition guides action before rational judgment and thus in anticipation of what happens next, which, since this is unpredictable, is often unexpected and offers unthought-of opportunities to which the artist responds either on principle or again, emotional cognition. Camera operator, actor, director, grip, best boy, recordist and so on, all respond to experience with action in the moment, all guided by emotional cognition about color, light, sound, silence, movement, shape, tone, depth and context in a frame informing a process that Einstein referenced in describing his comprehension of relativity as not of his rational mind.