The producer and director of the award-winning SEARCHING, Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty, share their recipe for successful collaboration
- A producer identifies the right talent to go with the right project, focusing on their combined creative strengths and the possibilities for financing.
- Collaborating with a kind and humble director promotes a positive working environment and supports the creative outcome of the film. This is a director who knows what's at stake, appreciates the opportunity, takes initiative, wants to be there for the film and has a strong vision, but is flexible when needed.
- A good producer understands story - they can look at the inner workings of a script and know where it excels and where it doesn't. But don't just point out problems - be ready to make suggestions to improve it!
- The best directors are skilled at problem solving. Choose collaborators who can identify issues, come up with solutions, and proactively address any challenges that arise.
- While a director should always have a strong vision, flexibility is key to the filmmaking process. A good producer can support and guide this vision.
- Creative tension is normal in filmmaking, but there’s always a respectful way to communicate, find a middle ground and ultimately a better solution.
- Meeting one-on-one with your director during pre-production to actively discuss the script page by page is an excellent way to share ideas, address questions, and become creatively aligned before principal photography starts.
- Stay true to the project - many things will happen through the life of a film, and the producer will need to stay the course and bring everyone else along with them.
Aneesh Chaganty is a 25-year-old writer/director whose two-minute short film, a Google Glass spot called SEEDS, became an internet sensation after garnering more than one million YouTube views in 24 hours.
Sev Ohanian is a writer/producer who’s been a producer on 13 feature films – including Sundance films FRUITVALE STATION, RESULTS, and THE INTERVENTION.