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Producer Interview Questions

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  1. When deciding whether to join a project as a producer, what do you look for in a script? See answer
  2. Tell us how you go about selecting a director. What are some of the qualities you look for? See answer
  3. You’re working on a project with expensive special effects never attempted before. How do you stay under budget? See answer
  4. Give us some examples of changes you’d make to a movie you produced in the past. Why would you do it differently? See answer
  5. Describe how you set a deadline for a project and keep it on schedule. What are some strategies you use? See answer
  6. Tell me about the mediums you have delivered content for in the past? See answer
  7. Tell me about a project where the client changed the job requirements after you’ve already commissioned the cast and paid vendors. How did you manage the client?
  8. Do you have experience handling SAG paperwork in productions?
  9. Have you ever made a mistake during a production that led to a disaster? Did you resolve the problem and how did you handle it?
  10. When is it appropriate to show cuts to internal and external stakeholders? What tools do you use to share cuts?
  11. Tell me about the steps involved in the editorial process.
  12. How do you qualify and get bids from vendors?
  13. What is your take on union vs. non-union work?
  14. List the software tools you use during the post-production phase.
  15. How do you stay on trend with the latest video production technologies?
  16. How do source for copyrighted footage and music?
  17. What do you love most about production?
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6 Producer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

When deciding whether to join a project as a producer, what do you look for in a script?

A:

This question explores the creative ideas of the candidate and the types of movies they prefer to produce. Discovering this will help you decide whether the producer would be a good fit for the movies you plan to release in the future. You can also get a sense of the applicant’s past writing and editing experience. What to look for in an answer:

  • Creative preferences
  • Writing and editing experience
  • Cultural and creative fit
Example:

“When I read scripts, I look for insights into the human condition that the audience can easily relate to. Character dialogue needs to be natural, but the story also needs to be meaningful.”

Q:

Tell us how you go about selecting a director. What are some of the qualities you look for?

A:

Producers oversee the production of a film project, which means they’re responsible for hiring staff. One of the most important decisions a producer will make is choosing the director. An experienced candidate should have examples of previous hiring decisions from past projects, both good and bad, that illustrate their criteria. You can also use questions like this to determine their cultural fitness for your organization. What to look for in an answer:

  • Explains hiring process for director position
  • Past experience with choosing staff
  • Cultural fitness
Example:

“The director is a key member of any film project, and I’ve learned from experience that it’s important to find someone who matches my personality as well as the other production staff under them. Then, I look at their creative talent and what’s needed for the project.”

Q:

You’re working on a project with expensive special effects never attempted before. How do you stay under budget?

A:

This question is asking about a candidate’s management skills. When a project has a large budget and creative people pushing the limits of technology, funds can be quickly drained. It’s the task of the producer to keep everyone’s feet on the ground in those situations and make sure the allotted money covers the costs of the entire film. Pay close attention to how the candidate handles conflict in these situations. What to look for in an answer:

  • Aptitude for financial management
  • Past experience overseeing large projects
  • Communication and persuasion skills
Example:

“I worked on an action film with a modest budget that needed sophisticated CGI effects. The creative staff wasn’t happy that we limited the screen time of these effects, but we found ways to make the most of our resources.”

Q:

Give us some examples of changes you’d make to a movie you produced in the past. Why would you do it differently?

A:

This question will help you gauge the professional growth of the candidate as well as how much experience they have in the industry. Creative projects always involve compromises, but the potential hire should share some insights about what makes a film successful versus mediocre. You can also assess the applicant in terms of management skills. Finally, their choice of lessons learned can indicate how well they’ll fit your organization. What to look for in an answer:

  • Explains creative process
  • Past management experience
  • Cultural and management style fits with the company
Example:

“One film I produced taught me the value of working closely with my director and writers throughout a project, not just during the planning phase. We spent several months rewriting scenes that evolved in a direction I didn’t like. It wouldn’t have been necessary if I had been more involved during initial shoots.”

Q:

Describe how you set a deadline for a project and keep it on schedule. What are some strategies you use?

A:

Project management is another major skill a producer needs to master. As the head of a movie production, they’ll oversee various aspects that often work in parallel and depend on each other. Filming can’t begin before sets and costumes are ready, for example. A candidate should be aware of these issues and describe how they’ll keep the project on time with their management skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with project management
  • Understanding of the film production process
  • Effective communication and persuasion skills
Example:

“Keeping a film production on time can be the most demanding part of being a producer. I track the progress of several different teams on a weekly basis. I do that by staying in close contact with each supervisor and setting milestones.”

Q:

Tell me about the mediums you have delivered content for in the past?

A:

Producers have to create and deliver content for a wide range of mediums, including theater, radio, television and the web. This question can show interviewers that a candidate has experience and the required skills to deliver content across a wide range of mediums. A skilled producer candidate's response will emphasize working on a variety of content productions for multiple mediums relevant to your role. The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • A deep understanding of mediums for delivering content
  • Expert production skills
  • Flexibility
Example:

I have worked on the production set for a wide range of mediums. For example, I worked extensively in the last election for an ad agency where I produced content for television, radio, and social media platforms. I also have experience creating theatrical works, including drama, skits, musicals and quiz competitions.”

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